Players in avocado value chain warned against flouting export rules

KEITT staff workers packaging avocados at Keitt Exporters Ltd in Thika road. [David Gichuru, Standard]

Avocado dealers risk losing their licenses if they will be found flouting rules and regulations imposed by the government designed to enhance fruit quality. Exporters have expressed concerns to the Avocado Agent’s Association to ensure their members transport the commodity in plastic crates and full compliance of the law, to save them the wrath of the Agriculture Food Authority (AFA).

In a meeting attended by the Kenya Avocado Exporters, marketing agents, Agriculture Food Authority (AFA), it was resolved that all must adhere to the standards set in the value chain.

The meeting was held amid concern after an agent not licensed by Horticulture Crops Directorate (HCD) was a week ago caught transporting the produce to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport without meeting all the regulations. The action caused tension in the sector after nine containers of exporters were blocked from leaving a warehouse in Mombasa for shipment. Chairman of the Avocado Exporters Samson Murithi Wakibia said the operations of the exporters was at risk if any of its agents will be caught contravening the regulations. Mr Wakibia said the agents must ensure any supply to the exporters will be in crates, and in covered vehicles.

“The regulator will follow the defaulting agents and establish the destination of the produce,” said Wakibia. Regulator’s officials David Makoli and Collins Otieno said there was need for all players in the value chain to remain observant to guard the quality of the fruit. Makoli said there was a team of enforcement monitoring the operations in the value chain and more interested in the transportation of the fruits.

“The regulations call for the use of crates in transportation as the prime requirement.  The agents must also be licensed and vehicles involved in the transportation known,” said Makoli.

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