The Horticulture Crops Directorate in Kenya, under the Agriculture and Food Authority, has announced a halt to the harvesting and export of avocado. This suspension will be effective from November 3, 2023, for the 2023–2024 fiscal year.
The directive will affect Hass, Pinkerton, Fuerte, and Jumbo avocados.
“To ensure the quality of produce marketed both locally and internationally, the HCD enforces sector regulations. This includes ensuring that only mature avocados are harvested and exported,” it said in a public notice.
The directive aims to sustain and grow international markets while minimizing interruptions to the crop cycle caused by the harvesting of immature avocados.
“The Directorate shall continue to closely monitor avocado maturity trends and patterns, review the notice in mid-January 2024, and guide appropriately.”
Kenya is a leading producer of avocados in Africa. Kenya exports its avocados to various countries, including the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, France, Spain, Turkey, China, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
During the 2023–2024 fiscal year, Kenya plans to double its avocado exports from Sh15 billion to Sh30 billion annually in the next five years.
This comes after Kenya successfully made its first avocado exports to India, tapping into a promising 1.4 billion consumer market.
Moreover, Kenyan avocado exports to China hit Ksh9 billion in the three months to May 2023, defying steep competition in the market from Chile.
The European Union, with a focus on nations like the Netherlands, France, Spain, the UK, and Germany, remains a key destination for Kenyan avocados.
Additionally, Kenya has successfully expanded its avocado exports to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Qatar, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Georgia.
With the product contributing an average of over $100 million (equivalent to Sh15 billion) annually to export earnings, Kenya is well-positioned for a continued rise in export values.