Kenya has imposed a temporary ban on the export of avocados by sea from this Friday (November 3, 2023) to ensure that traders do not export immature fruits after the harvesting season comes to an end.
The Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD) says the decision to suspend the shipping of the fruit follows a survey it undertook to authenticate the maturity indices of the avocado fruits in the major production zones.
“Following the findings of the survey, we hereby notify the Kenyan avocado stakeholders that the closing of Hass, Pinkerton, Fuerte, and Jumbo harvesting season and export by sea for the 2023/2024 fiscal year shall be in force with effect from November 3, 2023,” said the Directorate.
However, air shipment of avocados, including those in transit from other East African Community (EAC) countries will continue without any interruptions.
“Export clearance (including fruit consignments from the EAC region) shall be granted for air shipment, subject to inspection by the Directorate. Traceability information will be required for all consignments,” added the directorate.
Temporary export bans are one of the main measures that Kenya uses to prevent some unscrupulous traders from harvesting premature avocados which leads to the export of low-quality fruit.
Avocado production has expanded by approximately 7% globally in the last ten years, with key regions like Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Kenya leading the charge. Mexico, the largest avocado-producing country, has seen a 6% increase in production, accounting for 30% of the global output.
In tandem, Colombia, Peru, and Kenya have experienced production growth rates of 15%, 12%, and 11%, respectively, collectively contributing 27% to global production. Notably, the United States, while previously a top 10 producer, has slipped in the rankings.