In 2023, a year after initiating exports to China, Kenya's avocado exports to the country surged nearly tenfold. According to Chinese data, the Asian nation imported 4,324 tonnes of Kenyan avocados last year, compared to 443 tonnes in 2022. Philip Mutooni, Chief Executive of the Avocado Exporters Association of Kenya, noted that while the European Union (EU) will likely remain the primary buyer of Kenyan avocados, the burgeoning Chinese market is a significant boon.
"The EU is our biggest market and is likely to remain so in the foreseeable future," Mr Mutooni said. "However, besides China, we are also looking into growing sales in other markets such as India and Saudi Arabia."
Despite stiff competition from leading exporters like Mexico and Peru, Kenya, the world's fifth-largest avocado exporter, is determined to set its produce apart. "The Chinese market is developing at a reasonable pace but for Kenyan produce to truly become dominant it is imperative that only quality fruit which will ripen correctly is exported to the market," the report stated.
Kenya's fruit export earnings rose significantly to Sh32.37 billion in 2023 from Sh19.7 billion in 2022, according to the Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD).