- Kenya aims to export avocados to South Korea starting in March next year as part of its horticultural business expansion strategy.
- The Secretary of the Cabinet of Commerce, Betty Maina, last month signed an agreement with South Korea by which Kenya would begin to export avocados to the Asian nation.
Kenya aims to export avocados to South Korea starting in March next year as part of its horticultural business expansion strategy.
The Secretary of the Cabinet of Commerce, Betty Maina, last month signed an agreement with South Korea by which Kenya would begin to export avocados to the Asian nation.
The managing director of the Kenya Plant Health Inspection Service (Kephis), Theophilus Mutui, says the agency has drawn up phytosanitary standards that exporters must adhere to to allow the product to be shipped to the new market.
Kenya is also interested in increasing mango export volumes to Italy after a successful trial with plans to resume the European market in September, exports are well on track.
“As you know, the European Union is our main market for flowers, fruits, vegetables and herbs. We are currently working to open other markets for our product. Recently, we were in South Korea, where we discussed improving the exports of our products to the Asian nation. This includes crops like avocado, ”he said.
Professor Mutui said that avocado is just one of many products that have been a line for exports to Korea. Others include pineapple and pepper.
Organizations such as the United Nations Industrial Development Organization are already training farmers in best farming practices to improve access to international markets.
“Farmers have been encouraged to familiarize themselves with accepted pesticides in all international markets to easily comply with phytosanitary standards,” said Professor Mutui.
In May 2015, Nairobi entered into a bilateral agreement to access the South Korean market for various Kenyan products. The measure allowed Kenya to export bananas and broccoli, which would not require a pest risk analysis as is the case for other products.
However, Kenya has only exported less than a ton since 2015, prompting the Commerce Ministry to express concern in May that Kenya was not exporting these two products despite a ready market.
South Korea imports 70 percent of its food and, in 2017, bananas were its most imported product with 834,000 tonnes worth $ 1.24 billion, according to the South Korean Customs Service.
The largest fruit exporter to South Korea, accounting for 38.3 percent of imports, was the United States.