Data from the Horticulture Directorate shows that the value of Kenya’s avocado exports jumped 93 per cent to Sh4.26 billion in the first quarter of this year compared to the previous period.
While Kenya is ranked eighth globally in avocado production, the country’s performance has been buoyed by improved demand in global markets.
Kenya exported 26,481 tonnes of the fruit between January and March this year compared to 15,101 tonnes in 2020.
The jump in avocado export volumes between January and March, came as Kenya lifted a ban on the shipment of the produce to markets abroad to curb pre-mature harvests by cartels keen on profiteering from global demand.
The Directorate of Horticulture allowed the resumption of export of the popular Fuerte variety on February 15 followed by Hass on March 8 after close to a four-month ban.
The horticulture regulator had banned the export of the two popular avocado varieties last November to curb the harvesting of the immature crop.
The avocado season for these main varieties normally comes to an end at that time resulting in a shortage of the fruit in the country, pushing up the cost of the commodity.
Kenya currently ships the bulk of its avocados to Europe and the Middle East.
Most of the consignments are currently heading to Europe, which is one of Kenya’s major markets for avocados in terms of returns, with some exported to the Middle East.