Kenya could make its maiden mango exports to Pakistan in about a fortnight as Nairobi races to endorse a long-delayed trade deal between the two countries.
Mr Theophilus Mutui, the managing director of Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service(Kephis), said a memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreed upon by the two countries on mango trade is ready for approval—opening gates for shipments.
“The draft is ready and we are just finalising on it, once we are done, it will be signed by Agriculture Cabinet Secretary then we shall be ready to start exports of our mango to Pakistan,” he said.
Shipments to Pakistan would offer a reprieve to mango farmers who have been grappling with limited market access for the fruit, especially after exports to UK were stopped nearly a decade ago. Kenya’s mangoes have been restricted from accessing the European market due to high cases of fruit flies.
Kenya is exploring new export markets for mangoes in the United Kingdom and Germany. A delegation will visit the two countries next month to market Kenya's hot water treated mangoes varieties. Statistics from the Horticulture Crops Directorate indicate that the volume of mangoes exported in 2020 reduced by close to 2.3 million kilos.
In 2019, Kenya exported 9.4 million kilos of mangoes to various destinations at the value of Sh1.4 billion compared to 7.1 million kilos exported in 2020 with a value of Sh1.1 billion.
Ms Syedah said Pakistan only produces these fruits three months a year hence creating a high demand for mango in the off-season.
“We only have three months of mango production in Pakistan, Kenya can supply as throughout the year and this can be done as soon as the Department of Agriculture approves the MoU,” she said last week.
The High Commissioner said the two MoUs on plant protection that started in 2016 on mango and citrus exports to Pakistan were finalised and are ready for signing if Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture is in concurrence with it. Pakistan and Kenya are strengthening their trade relations and just last week, Islamabad removed a 0.5 percent levy that it has been charging on all the tea exports destined to this Asian State.
Source: Business Daily Africa