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Kenya Gets Mango Export Market in EU

The European Union (EU) has approved the importation of temperature treated mango fruits from the country paving way for a major market for export of the local fresh produce.

The notification for the approval to use vapour heat treatment (VHT) for fresh mango fruit from Kenya was published by the EU in June 2023.

The development is a major boost to mango farmers  in addition to the 2021 approval on the export of the hot water treatment system that opened up market outlet for the fresh produce sector.

In a press statement by Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS) today, this means that exporters now have the leeway to export fresh mango fruits either treated using vapour heat or hot water.

In addition to the temperature treatment, KEPHIS Managing Director Prof. Theophilus Mutui advised exporters to adhere to the Kenya mango certification protocol to ensure that the fruits meets both phytosanitary and quality standards for the EU Market

“KEPHIS has approved one temperature treatment facility for treatment of mango to the EU and Jordan Market. The institution is in the process of approving more facilities to support the mango export business”, he said in the statement.

Additionally, KEPHIS is supporting farmers, exporters and other stakeholders to produce export-quality mango through establishment and approval of pest free zones (areas of low pest prevalence), and capacity building on mango export market requirements in different mango production zones.

Kenya in 2021 November resumed the multi-billion Mango lucrative European market after an eight-year break following attack of mangoes by quarantine pest –fruit flies.

Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA)–Horticulture Crops Directorate (HCD) had then said that the resumption of the EU market was informed by the drastic reduction of fruit flies’ infestation in the leading mango growing counties.

Last year in July, the government Launched a hot water treatment facility for horticultural crops at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) .

During the ground breaking ceremony the then Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya had said the country needs to move with speed to quickly tap in the great fortunes of the horticulture industry in order to improve social economic welfare for communities.

“This hot water treatment facility will revitalize and expand the horticulture export business by improving market access therefore cementing Kenya’s position as a leading exporter of fresh horticulture produce to the global market”, the CS had said .

Mango is the second most common fruit produced in Kenya after banana is grown by 49, 098 hectares producing 69.8 million kilograms valued at Sh10.5 billion in 2019. Makueni County is leading in production with a total of 4.3 million mango trees grown by over 100,000 farmers producing more than 184, 000 metric tonnes followed by Kitui and Machakos counties respectively.

By Wangari Ndirangu

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