Monday, May 27, 2024
Home > Agriculture > AFA opens up season for avocado exports for 2024/2025 fiscal year

AFA opens up season for avocado exports for 2024/2025 fiscal year

The Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) through the Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD) has opened up the harvesting of avocado for export starting 1st March 2024.

The Authority had at the beginning of November suspended avocado exports following a halt of some avocado shipments and harvesting of immature avocados to ensure quality produce is marketed locally and internationally.

The main avocado season in the country starts around mid-March to November and any harvesting of the fruit beyond these months is managed and guided through a survey.

According to the notice by AFA Thursday, an avocado field survey was done between January 7- 12, 2024 to ascertain maturity indices and volumes of the avocado fruit in major production zones.

HCD Acting Director Christine Chesaro said that the fruits were deemed insufficient then, and thus necessitating an extension of restriction on avocado shipment by sea.

In the notice, the Directorate reports that it has now established improvement in maturity of the avocado fruits in the major production zones.

The directorate says that all export produce would however be subject to inspection by AFA-HCD inspectors and that exporters were required to apply for inspection at least three days prior to shipment

“All exporters are required to submit a list of their Horticultural Produce Marketing Agents (HPMA) or suppliers before February 26, 2024. Exporters are also required to strictly transact with marketing agents with valid registration permits,” that statement said.

The Directorate has further warned that exporters or their agents found transporting avocado without crates or on open pick-up trucks or Probox vehicles contrary to the Horticulture Regulations shall be penalized.

All Avocado Dealers are also required to take full responsibility of production and postproduction processes to guarantee compliance to regulatory and market requirements.

The export of Hass and Fuerte varieties will continue but would be limited to a maximum size code 20 (184g).

The Authority through Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD) regulates the horticulture sub-sector through enforcement of rules and regulations to ensure quality products are produced and marketed.

According to the AFA Year Book of Statistics, area under avocado increased from 26,561 Ha in 2021 to 27,807 Ha in 2022 while production was 455,279 MT up from 432,969 MT reported in 2021 accounting for a 5.2 percent increase.  Farmers earned Sh12.6 billion in 2022 production year compared to Sh12.4 billion in 2021.

Kenya is the leading avocado exporter in Africa and is ranked as the fifth largest exporter in the world, with Mexico being the top producer globally.

By Wangari Ndirangu

 

Leave a Reply