Kenyan avocados have become more marketable following tough measures to protect the fruits’ export quality, an agricultural regulator has said.
Avocado Society of Kenya CEO Ernest Muthomi said international buyers were importing more fruits after farmers followed rules set by the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA).
Mr Muthomi spoke last Friday during a stakeholders’ forum at the Murang’a University of Technology. The forum was also attended by Kakuzi Company Limited’s Paul Mbugua.
The AFA has in the past raised the alarm after avocados meant for export were rejected in the destination markets. After an investigation, it was revealed that farmers were harvesting immature fruits.
AFA’s interim Director Antony Mureithi instructed farmers to adhere to the stipulated harvesting period to protect market standards.
“Kenya's fruits have a unique taste craved by consumers, but we can only supply four per cent. This underlines the unexplored potential and need to increase land under avocado farming,” said Mr Mureithi.
Mr Mbugua said Chinese buyers were scheduled to visit Kakuzi at the end of the month to inspect how the fruits were farmed, adding that it was a standard requirement of the export market.
“Kakuzi fruits from Kenya have dominated the international market due to their high quality, while others faced rejection,” said Muthomi.
Last year, Muthomi said, farmers exported 4,000 containers of the fruit, of which 600 were from Kakuzi.