Kenya has suspended bulk avocado exports pending a review in January next year in efforts to protect the market for local produce.
Horticultural Crop Directorate Director Benjamin Tito says a survey carried out last month established that there is a shortage of mature fruits to support large orders and deter export of immature fruits that might affect shipment of Kenyan avocados.
The Directorate says the off season crop is inadequate to support shipment and will interfere with the cropping cycle of the trees, thereby reducing projected volumes in subsequent harvests.
To avert the sale of immature Kenya avocado in the international market and protect the Kenyan brand, the Horticultural Crop Directorate has closed the harvesting season for Hass, Furte, Pinkerton and Jumbo varieties and shipment by sea for the 2021/2022 season.
Exports of off season avocados shall only be done by air subject to inspection and approvals from the directorate. The suspension applies to all exporters of fresh avocado and avocado oil.
The Horticultural Crop Directorate says that avocado exports suspension will be reviewed in January next year after an assessment on the available stocks is carried out.
The export suspension comes after Kenya shipped 1.7 million kilos of avocado worth KES 7 billion in the last three months after China relaxed export requirements to allow importation of fresh avocado exports.