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Kenyan avocado exports resuming

Kenya’s avocado exports have resumed with high prices at the market coming as a windfall for farmers who had been starved of cash for the past three months. They are exported to Spain, Germany, Russia and the Middle-Eastern countries.

The first consignment left on Saturday for Europe. “The ban has been lifted and we have already started the exports of avocado with the first ship leaving over the weekend,” said Ojepati Okesegere, CEO of Fresh Producers Consortium of Kenya. Okesegere said the prices are expected to be better going forward because of high demand the Kenyan Fuerte variety has commanded.

“We are currently the only country in the world with this variety of avocado and that is why the prices are this high,” he said, adding that they have also got inquiries from the Far East countries, but the stocks are not enough.

He, however, said they will consider the Far East orders once the ban on export of Hass variety is lifted mid next month. The export embargo was effected last November with the initial plan to lift it on March 15 for the Fuerte variety and April 15 for Hass.

But early this month, the directorate of horticulture announced that the ban would be lifted a month earlier after stakeholders reviewed the maturity. quoted Head of Horticulture Directorate Bernard Ondanji as saying: “With the effects of climate change, the fruits can attain maturity either early or later than planned because of varying temperatures and this is what we have witnessed.”

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