In the first quarter of 2021, the value of Kenya’s avocado exports jumped 93 per cent YoY, to Sh4.26 billion (€32.8 mln). Data from the Horticulture Directorate shows increased exports due to a higher demand in global markets.
Kenya is ranked eighth in worldwide avocado production. The nation exported 26,481 tons of the fruit between January and March this year, compared to 15,101 tons in 2020. The Directorate of Horticulture allowed the resumption of export of the popular Fuerte variety on February 15, followed by Hass avocadoes on March 8, after close to a four-month ban. The regulator had banned the export of the two popular avocado varieties last November to curb the harvesting of immature crops.
The avocado season for these main varieties normally comes to an end at that time resulting in a shortage of the fruit in the country, pushing up the cost of the commodity. Kenya currently ships the bulk of its avocados to Europe and the Middle East.
Avocados have been a major part of Kenyan horticultural earnings, bringing in nearly half of the total returns from fruit exports. Kenya’s avocado exports jumped 15 per cent - to 68,000 tons - over the twelve months to October 2020, earning the country Sh14 billion (€107.8 mln).