Because of stringent trade entry rules, small scale avocado farmers may be locked out of the Kenya-China avocado export deal. Kenya Plant health inspectorate Service officials say the pest and sanitary safety measure agreed upon by the two countries require farmers to have cold rooms and avocado processing plants to secure exports to China. Avocado is grown in over 7,500 hectares of land in Kenya mainly by small scale farmers.
The stringent requirements bars selling of avocado in its raw form in a bid to control pest and disease from entering China. Farmers will be required to ripen the fruit, remove the skin and seed before freezing the fruit at low temperatures before exporting the produce.
According to Kenya Plant health inspectorate Service officials, farmers must acquire modern coolants to preserve the fruit. Farmers are being encouraged to familiarize themselves with the new export measures and apply for permits from KEPHIS so as to export avocados to China.
Kbc.co.ke explains how KEPHIS officials say licensed farmers will undergo continuous scrutiny and those found flouting the laid down standards will have their export licenses revoked.