Kenya earns Sh8bn from avocados as Covid-19 boosts exports
What you need to know:
- The Netherlands remained the lead importer of Kenyan avocados.
- The country is a major fresh produce distribution hub in Europe.
- Other top importers include Spain, UAE, Russia, France and Belgium.
Kenyan avocado exports hit a record high in the first half of 2020 with more than 58,400 tonnes sold to 42 countries, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Data from the Directorate of Horticulture and the Avocado Society of Kenya shows that sales almost topped the total quantity sold last year.
According to Avocado Society of Kenya Chief Executive Ernest Muthomi, the country earned more than Sh8 billion from the exports.
The Netherlands, a major fresh produce distribution hub in Europe remained the lead importer of Kenyan avocados with 16.3 million kilogrammes bought by June.
Other top importers include Spain with 7.5 million kilogrammes, UAE (5.8 million kilogrammes), Russia (5.4 million kilogrammes), France (4.7 million kilogrammes) and Belgium (4.6 million kilogrammes).
Mr Muthomi said there has been a growing demand for fruits during the pandemic where the avocado is being recommended for its high alkaline content.
“The high export numbers can also be attributed to an increase in avocado acreage and quality of the fruit being produced by our farmers. We are excited by the prospects of rising demand for the fruit,” Mr Muthomi said.
He said the average price of a four-kilogramme pack of hass avocados is Sh350 and is expected to hit Sh450 as supply in other parts of the world declines.
Mr Gideon Gitonga, an avocado farmer, said while demand had declined early in the year, more buyers were calling in to buy from him.
In the last six months, Kenya exported 45, 737 tonnes of avocado to the European market.
Kenya is ranked among the fastest growing avocado exporters in the world having overtaken South Africa in production.