Avocados from Kenya might soon land in China, thanks to a Ministry of Agriculture initiative. Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service managing director Esther Kimani stated they have already invited Chinese experts to conduct risk analysis and field visits during avocado harvesting season.
This was important for China before it would open up its market to Kenya. The visit would seek to comprehend orchard management, picking, packaging and certification system of the popular fruit.
Chinese experts will be hosted at avocado farms in Kakuzi, Embu, Murang’a, Uasin Gichu, and Trans Nzoia before they are taken to the airport to see how inspection of the fruit and other crops is conducted.
Kephis, noted Ms Kimani, has received many requests for export of avocado to China since 2011. This led to an initial application for market access in April 2011 to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China (Chinese National Plant Protection Organisation.
In the feedback it was indicated that, out of the 104 harmful organisms affecting avocado in Kenya, 11 species which included Cryptophlebia leucotreta (false codling moth), five fruit flies species (Bactrocera cucurbitae, B. invadens, Ceratitis capitata, C. cosyra, C. rosa (fruitflies), four other insects (Ceraplastes rusci, Vinsonia stellifera, Lopholeucaspis cockerelli, Selenaspidus articulates (Scales) and Pseudocercospora purpurea (black spots/spot blotch) were of concern to China.
Subsequently, the Chinese NPPO evaluated the Kenyan risk mitigation proposal and concluded that the country had put forward a comprehensive prevention and control mechanism for the pests of interest at orchard level, says businessdailyafrica.com.