The vast population of avocado exporters in Kenya has placed the country on the list of world’s fastest-growing exporters. Kenya is third on the list behind Colombia and Morocco. This makes Kenya the only country in East and Central Africa on the top ten list of avocado producers. In fact, Kenya recently overtook South Africa in avocado production. This was according to a 2019 half-year survey shared at the World Avocado Congress in Colombia.
Data from the International Trade Centre shows that Kenya’s avocado export was 51,507 tons in 2017. However, South Africa in the same period exported 43,492 tons. The declining export volume pushed South Africa down to the 11th position on the top 15 exporter list.
The commercial production of avocado in Kenya began only about 40 years ago. However, avocado exporters in Kenya only peaked a few years ago. Today, avocado has become an important national fruit and contributes 17% to total horticultural exports.
Reasons for the growth in avocado production
Farmers are leveraging on the increase in demand for the fruit in China and Europe to expand Kenya’s avocado export. A 2018 survey placed Germany, Kenya, Morocco, and Colombia as the fastest growing exporters of the fruit. In 2018, Kenya was 7th on the list of leading exporters. The list was mostly dominated by Spanish speaking countries. Mexico leads the pack with annual earnings of $2.4 billion while Kenya earned $118 million.
Delegates made up of a governor and avocado exporters in Kenya are among those attending the 2019 World Avocado Congress in Medellin, Colombia. The country is aiming at hosting the global event in 2023. Among the delegates attending the conference is Mwangi wa Iria, Murang’a Governor.
Various other regions of the country are already making preparations to tap into avocado export. The government of Uasin Gishu County has already given out seedlings to farmers. The goal is to cover at least 1,000 acres with avocado. Hitherto, this county was known to be the largest wheat and maize producer. Uasin Gishu County government has also facilitated an agreement between farmers and Habex Agro, one of the avocado exporters in Kenya. This move will further increase Kenya’s population of avocado and export outlook in the coming years.
Biggest buyers of Kenya’s avocado
Kenya has a long list of countries that patronize its avocado. This includes the United Kingdom, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, and the United Arab Emirates. In April 2019, Kenya and China signed a trade agreement. Consequently, Kenya became the first African country to export to China. There are projections that the Chinese market will take up 40% of the Kenya population of avocado.
Kenya and South Africa have been on the battle for avocado supremacy. In 2010, South Africa banned avocado importation from Kenya. However, this ban was lifted in 2018. Kenya is also expanding other agribusinesses including coffee, live trees, and cut flower exports.
Top 5 avocado exporters in Kenya
The number of avocado exporters in Kenya is growing as the country edges towards dominating Africa production and export. If you are planning to export avocado in Kenya, here are 5 avocado exporters in Kenya you should consider.
The focus of Habex Agro is on mangoes, macadamia, and avocadoes. However, they provide farmers with fast-maturing and high-quality seedlings. With a production capacity of over 100,000 trees per annum, Habex Agro has become a name to reckon with in avocado breeding, propagation, and marketing.
Selina Wamucii has a more robust agro presence and is one of the top avocado exporters in Kenya. According to their website, they are “Integrating Africa’s smallholders into global supply chains”. However, their export services cover fish and seafood, fruits and vegetables, spices, and a host of other agro commodities.
The Kakuzi Farms have 717 hectares which is dedicated to the production of avocado. Consequently, they have become one of the largest avocado exporters in Kenya. They export both varieties of avocado. However, in 2011, they exported over 4.4 tons of avocado.
The Mt. Kenya Avocado Farms promotes themselves as suppliers of consistently high quality and organically grown avocados. However, one fact that is clear is that they are one of the top avocado exporters in Kenya. Their website also has an interesting story that traces the origin of avocado farming in Kenya.
Oxfarm Organic is calling on farmers to partner with them. Consequently, they were recently nominated as the Best Agribusiness Company by Bizna Kenya. In addition to avocado export, Oxfarm Organic also deals with the exportation of various other agro-products.