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Government deregisters Avocado Society of Kenya

Nairobi, January 16, 2024 The Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) has officially deregistered the Avocado Society of Kenya (ASOK) effective January 15, 2024 in adherence to the regulatory framework outlined in the AFA Act of 2013, Crops Act of 2013, and the Crops (Horticultural Crops) Regulations, 2020 in a statement seen by Hortinews.

The move comes as the directorate, tasked with enforcing sector regulations to maintain the quality of produce in local and international markets, expressed concerns about ASOK’s actions during the closure of the avocado harvesting season and export by sea for the 2023/2024 fiscal year, the statement said.

Despite a letter of caution issued on December 18, 2023, urging ASOK to cease actions causing disharmony and disrepute to the industry, the association persisted in activities deemed detrimental to Kenya’s horticulture trade as per the statement. ASOK, under the leadership of CEO Ernest Muthomi, was accused by AFA of disseminating unverified information on social media, communicating negative messages to foreign countries, and making baseless allegations against export companies and regulatory institutions.

The recent camping of Mr Muthomi at Namanga, allegedly to interfere with investigations into the illegal exportation of immature avocados to Tanzania, further heightened concerns. In response, AFA, in accordance with the Crops (Horticultural Crops) Regulations 2020, para 13, sub-sections (1, 2), and (3), has officially deregistered ASOK, ceasing to recognize it as an Industry Association effective from January 15, 2024, AFA said in a statement.

” Agriculture and Food Authourity, through its Board of Directors and entire management, has communicated the cessation of industry-related dealings with ASOK. This decision is aimed at maintaining order, harmony in the industry, safeguarding international markets, and upholding the reputation of both the horticulture sector and the nation. New applicants and those seeking to renew dealership licenses are now required to demonstrate membership in alternative Industry Associations,” concluded the statement signed by acting Director Christene Chesaro and copied to other industry associations notably the Kenya Flower Council, Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya and Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya.

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