Nakuru County eyes avocado exports to China

Nakuru County has launched a sustained campaign to revitalise avocado farming as it seeks to tap into the Chinese and other international markets.

Lee Kinyanjui, the governor, says Nakuru is embarking on diversification to promote farming of avocados, macadamia alongside other traditional crops like coffee and potatoes.

Mr Kinyanjui said that the county will establish avocado purchasing, sorting and packing bays as it seeks to tap into the international market.

It is expected to give farmers a direct market locally and abroad and eliminate brokers.

Already the county has distributed at least 40,000 seedlings to farmers across the county under the revamp of farming in the county.

“We want to focus on the Chinese market instead of selling the crop to brokers at throwaway prices. Brokers buy the fruit for between Sh10 and Sh15 but reap huge profits at the expense of farmers,” he said.

This is part of a grand plan by the county to help farmers tap into the East African and foreign export markets through value addition.

Nakuru, regarded as a key food basket in Rift Valley, is banking on direct sales of its farm produce to foreign markets and value addition to grow revenues.

Avocado farm. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Nakuru also is one of the leading producers of potatoes, milk, vegetables among other crops.

“We have identified avocados as a potential income earner for our farmers due to the high demand both locally and internationally,” said Mr Kinyanjui.

Kenya exported Sh10 billion avocados in the 2017-18 financial year, according to data from Kephis.

The European Union accounted for 42 percent of the market while the Middle East came second at 28 percent.

Avocados rank fourth most important national fruit crop and have grown to represent 17 percent of Kenya’s total horticultural exports.

Move from subsistence farming and enter high-value export market, the governor told farmers.

Source: Business Daily Africa

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