Kenya has received the greenlight to export fresh avocados to China. This is in addition to the export of frozen avocado fruits granted market access in 2019.
The greenlight follows successful completion of a rigorous Pest Risk Analysis carried out by Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS) and the National Plant Protection Organization of China. KEPHIS managing director Theophilus Mutui said the analysis was aimed at identifying quarantine pests of concern to China, which should be controlled before export.
“All the fresh avocado fruits must comply with all applicable Chinese phytosanitary (plant health) laws and regulations, health and safety standards. The produce should also be free from any quarantine pests of concern to China,” he said.
Good Agricultural Practices
In April 2019, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping signed an agreement that allowed the export of frozen avocado. The deal required export of frozen avocados at a temperature of between minus 7 degrees to -15 degree . This would help control the fruit fly pest which is common in Kenya.
Mutui said all producers and exporters intending to export fresh avocado to China must have all their production farms, packhouses and fumigation treatment facilities registered by KEPHIS.
“Once harvested, one is supposed to remove the outer cover and seed so you are left with the avocado itself. It is this part that is required to be packed and shipped and get to the China market at this temperature. Failure to this, the fruit will turn brown and this will compromise on quality,” he said.
Further, they are required to apply Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and keep good sanitary conditions as well as implement Integrated Pest Management programs, including pest monitoring, chemical and biological control and any other pest control operations.
“KEPHIS shall carry out periodic field inspection, monitor and manage quarantine pests of concern to Chin, keep monitoring records of quarantine pests as well as pest management measures implemented. This is in addition to carrying out phytosanitary treatment of the fresh avocado fruits by fumigation before export, and ensuring all consignments are inspected prior to export,” said the MD.