Kenya is preparing to resume mango shipments to the US, Europe and other key markets. In order to pass the strict phytosanitary regulations of these markets, funds from the recently established 0.25 percent horticulture export levy will be used to set up a fumigation and hot water plant for mango processing.
Kenya has not been exporting to the above mentioned key destinations in the last seven years due to presence of fruit flies. Exporters estimate they stand to lose Sh377 million (€2.83 mln) annually following the implementation of the levy that took effect on January 1.
The Directorate of Horticulture said the funds will also be used for research to contain some of the pests that pose a threat to Kenya’s export market. He pointed out that funding shortfall had limited Kenya’s response to the quarantine pests leading to stricter requirements by the export markets.
Besides mangoes, other export crops affected by exotic pests include chillies and French beans. Pests have also seen avocado exporters forced to adhere to stringent rules in order to access to the lucrative Chinese market.
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