Kenyan farmers will now export their popular hass avocados to China following a trade deal signed when President Kenyatta met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing.
The signing of the agreement which makes Kenya the first African nation to export avocados to the Asian nation with a market of over 1.4 billion consumers comes after a long and comprehensive approval process that included Chinese experts visiting Kenyan farmers.
It is estimated that when the agreement is fully implemented, the Chinese market will absorb over 40 percent of Kenya’s avocado produce, making it one of the largest importers of the fruit. Other famous destinations of Kenyan avocado include Europe and the US.
The signing of the protocol on sanitary and phytosanitary (an agreement relating to the health of plants, especially with respect to the rules of international trade)requirements for the export of frozen avocado was the last major hurdle for the Kenyan crop to be accepted in the highly regulated but lucrative Chinese market.
Avocado becomes the second farm produce from Kenya to access the expansive Chinese horticultural market after Stevia and will be followed by 13 other priority farm produce among them flowers, mangoes, French beans, peanut, vegetables, meat, herbs, bixa and macadamia.
The meeting between Presidents Kenyatta and Xi Jinping and their delegations focused on promoting economic and trade exchange in 8 key initiatives identified during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) meeting held in Beijing last year. These initiatives include industrial promotion, trade facilitation, infrastructure connectivity, green development and people-to-people exchange. Others are capacity building, healthcare, and peace and security.