Kenya avocado production consists mainly of the Hass and Fuerte varieties. The main season for Hass runs from March to July and a short /low off season in October, while the Fuerte season mainly runs from February to May.
"Due to regulatory authority ban on early harvesting of avocado the sizes and maturity improved substantially. We had 65% of big fruits (sizes 12-22) and 35% on small fruits," explains Priscilla King’ang’I, MD of grower and exporter KenyaFresh.
"With increased maturity, the oil content was between 23 and 24% substantially increasing the quality of our fruits. We had no customer complaints on immature and non- homogeneous ripening. This trend shall create a distinct Kenyan avocado brand which shall be competitive throughout the season."
The key markets for Kenyan avocados are The Netherlands, France, Spain and Germany. With alternative markets in the Middle east, North African countries like Morocco and Egypt, Russia is a key market especially for the Fuerte variety, Malaysia and Hong Kong markets are promising especially for the smaller fruits.
"The market was seriously affected by the war in Ukraine, the sales volumes and the prices dipped to very low levels. We expect better volumes next year with the good reception of quality fruits this year."
The Chinese market opened for Kenyan avocados earlier this year and according to Priscilla this is a breakthrough for the Kenyan avocado as it offers a big market and an alternative to the European market.
"We are currently preparing our farms and the packhouse to meet the phytosanitary requirements for the market. We are confident to meet the standard by the start of the next season. From the maiden shipments, the feedback has been positive for Kenyan avocado and we are looking forward to engage from next season."
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Ms Prisscilla King'angi