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Kenyan farmers happy about lifting ban on avocado exports

Avocado farmers from Kisumu, Kenya, expressed joy after the Agricultural and Food Authority lifted the ban on avocado exports. The avocados export ban was enacted on January 21 following claims that farmers were plucking immature crops and exporting them to international markets.

Kenyan fresh produce exporter Selina Wamucii Ltd has also welcomed the move by Kenya’s Agriculture and Food Authority to lift the ban. Selina Wamucii CEO John Oroko said the lifting of the temporary suspension on avocado exports would bring relief to farmers, exporters, and importers of Kenyan avocados from across the world. "It's definitely very good news for the small family growers who produce over 70 per cent of avocado that is exported in Kenya," Oroko said.

To ensure that only mature avocados are exported, the Agriculture and Food Authority has set the following criteria for mature avocados -among others-:
  • a dull appearance of the skin for Fuerte variety
  • have shrivelling and yellowing of the fruit stalk
  • when the seed is removed, the seed-coat is dark brown and dry, not adhering to the flesh
  • they have to contain at least 20% dry matter and oil content of 8% or higher

John Oroko: “We are approaching the main avocado season and as farmers, we hope that all industry players will comply with the export policies.” quotes another farmer, Philip Omondi urging farmers to allow their avocados to mature before harvesting them: "The fruits should be allowed to mature before they are harvested and exported to various markets in and outside the country.”

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