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Kenyan officials clash on Chinese avocado export quality rules

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | November 5, 2019
Amid reports indicating that only one in over 100 firms had met the requirements, Kenyan officials are yet to take a common stand on the quality standards set by China for avocado exports.
Chinese avocado
Africa   Chinese avocado
Whereas Industry and Trade Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said negotiations were on with China to reverse the requirement that only frozen avocado be exported, Agriculture Principal Secretary Hamisi Boga said the rule should not be relaxed “in order to safeguard Kenya’s produce to that market.”

Topics: Kenya Chinese avocado export

Munya said the Trade ministry is negotiating with China to allow Kenyans to export fresh avocado “since most of the farmers do not have the ability to freeze their produce.”

“We are negotiating at the moment to have China allow us to export fresh avocado to their market,” said Mr Munya. He added that the Kenya Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) was currently working on “a plan to give comfort to the Chinese in order to allow the export of fresh fruits.”

Professor P.S. Boga, on the other hand, said the government was not keen on having the rules relaxes “as this will compromise the quality of avocado. We cannot low the standards. It’s up to the government and other stakeholders to do capacity building to help traders and farmers meet the requirements and that is something will also make us competitive globally.”

Kenya’s avocado are prone to fruit flies and that is the reason China has insisted on frozen produce to avoid transfer of pests to its territory. Under a deal that Nairobi signed with Beijing in April this year, local farmers are only be allowed to export frozen avocado as a way of taming pests, which have been common with Kenyan fruits.


 

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