By MURIMI GITARI
A trade deal struck by Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta and his counterpart, the president of china Xi Jinping in Beijing when President Kenyatta visited the country on an official duty has made Kenya to be the first African country to export its popular hass avocados to the Asian nation.
This comes after Chinese experts visited the country late March and early April this year for inspection and certification of the avocados for approval of exporting them to the Chinese market which has over 1.4 billion consumers.
Kenya has been exporting Stevia and other farm produce like flowers, mangoes, vegetables, bixa, macadamia and meat to the Chinese market and now avocados will become the second farm produce to be exported to the country after Stevia making China to be the largest importer of the fruit as it will absorb over 40 percent of the total produce in the country.
This is a big win for the fresh produce this year after Mauritius also lifted its ban on Kenya’s fresh produce with hass avocados being part of it.
The two countries came to a deal by signing an agreement on sanitary and phytosanitary that relates to health of plants was a major hurdle of the produce to be accepted in China.
The market in China is highly regulated in terms of quality standards. Trade cabinet secretary Peter Munya, who is in the company of the president in China welcomed the deal and has assured of an immense benefit to Kenyan farmers as this will expand the market and improve the prices. He was speaking to the medial after signing of the agreement on the export of the frozen avocados.
“Famers in avocado growing counties should take this as an advantage for them by increasing the volumes of the avocados they grow and ensure they follow the guidelines and rules in matters of getting quality standards for them to be able to meet the Chinese strict regulations,” CS Munya said.
On his part, president Kenyatta thanked the Chinese government for the continued support they are offering to Kenya and most importantly for opening its market to Kenyan products as this will lead to great benefits to the people of Kenya especially farmers.
The two presidents led their delegations in discussing matters that will promote economic and trade exchange in key initiatives that include industrial promotion, trade facilitation, infrastructure connectivity, people-to people exchange among others.