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Kenya starts selling avocados to China

A worker at Sunripe factory in Limuru, Kiambu county, arranges boxes of fresh avocados. The first shipment of fresh avocados left Kenya on Tuesday going to China.
A worker at Sunripe factory in Limuru, Kiambu county, arranges boxes of fresh avocados. The first shipment of fresh avocados left Kenya on Tuesday going to China. (Xinhua)

Chinese firm Greechain has signed an agreement with Kenya’s Sunripe, where the Chinese firm would be buying fresh avocados from the Kenyan firm. China and Kenya signed two protocols in January to help trade between them.

The first cargo of fresh avocados left Kenya for China on Tuesday. This makes Kenya the first African country to export fresh avocados to China.

Mr David Osiany, chief administrative secretary, Industrialisation ministry, said exporting avocados to China would increase the country foreign currency earnings.

“The export of fresh avocados to China is a monumental feat that will boost our economy and benefit key players across the avocado value chain including farmers,” he said.

Mr Zhang Yijun, counsellor of economy and commerce at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, said Kenya’s fresh avocado exports to China would steadily grow.

Mr Benjamin Tito, director, Horticultural Crops Directorate, said that in July Kenya exported 11.2 million kilogrammes of avocado. This earned Sh1.5 billion.

Kenya is among the world’s top avocado producers, ranking number one last year in Africa. Avocado is valued by consumers because of its nutritional and medicinal benefits.

China and Kenya agreement to support avocado trade

The trade deal between Greechain and Sunripe came after China and Kenya signed agreements on avocados and aquatic products in January.

Kenya was allowed to start exporting avocados that met quality and chemical standards set Chinese regulators. China’s General Administration of Customs is working with Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service to approve avocados before they are exported to China.

Greechain Managing Director Garry Du said that inspection and investment in advanced cold chain technology eased the export of Kenya’s fresh avocado to China.

[Reporting with Xinhua]

About Kaburu Mugambi

Kaburu Mugambi is a veteran of business reporting having worked with two national newspapers in Kenya. He is a graduate of economics from Kenyatta University. He started his journalism career in 2000 with The People Daily as a business reporter before becoming a business sub-editor. He joined Daily Nation in 2004 as a business writer. He holds a post-graduate diploma in mass communication from University of Nairobi's School of Journalism and an MBA in marketing from the same university. In 2016, he founded Water Tower, a media firm focused on water, energy and climate. Its content cuts across water, energy and climate with emphasis on adaptation and sustainability.

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