Kenya is set to commence avocado fruit exports to India this September, marking a significant milestone for the country’s farmers. With access to the Indian market, Kenyan avocado growers are poised to expand their plantings, leading to higher earnings, increased employment opportunities, and downstream benefits.
A Promising New Market
The approval from the Indian government to allow Kenyan avocado exports is a significant development that opens up a new market for the country’s produce. This move is expected to contribute positively to the livelihoods of farmers and the broader economy, as avocados become a valuable export commodity.
Diverse Export Destinations and Growth Prospects
Kenya’s avocado exports have already established a strong presence in various international markets, with Europe being a major destination, including countries like the Netherlands, France, Spain, the UK, and Germany. The European Union alone accounts for 60% of Kenyan avocado exports. Additionally, avocados from Kenya are exported to other regions such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Qatar, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Georgia.
Trade Negotiations and Industry Resilience
The negotiations between Kenya and India for the avocado exports deal have been ongoing for five years, reflecting the commitment of both countries to foster bilateral trade relationships. Kenya’s avocado sector has demonstrated resilience and adaptability by entering new markets like China and Mauritius, with ongoing negotiations for access to the USA and South Korea.
Rising Global Demand and Growth Projections
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) forecast that avocados will become the world’s most traded fruit by 2030. Kenya is well-positioned to play a significant role in this growth trajectory, with projections indicating a production of 12 million tonnes by 2030, of which up to 3.9 million tonnes will be exported.
Global Avocado Landscape and Competition
Avocado production is expected to continue its rapid growth, with the majority of production remaining in Latin America and the Caribbean due to favorable climatic conditions. Mexico, the world’s largest producer and exporter of avocados, is projected to see continued growth in demand from the US market. However, new exporters like Peru, Colombia, and Kenya are also making their mark on the global avocado trade.
Kenya’s Ascendancy in Avocado Production
Kenya’s avocado production has witnessed remarkable growth, doubling over the past five years. The country has now become the world’s sixth-largest avocado producer, with a substantial planted area and production volume. Small-scale farmers contribute significantly to the sector, producing around 70% of the country’s avocados. Kenya’s dominance in avocado exports within the East African Community further solidifies its position as a major player in the global avocado market.