This week, Nairobi flagged off its first ever consignment of fresh avocados to China, cementing its place as the continent’s leading exporter of the fruit and the sixth largest globally.
And it could be a jackpot for local farmers who had initially failed to meet the tough conditions set by Beijing.
With a population of over 1.4 billion, China — which is the tenth leading importer of avocado globally — is now likely to become Kenya’s next leading destination for fresh avocados, which have traditionally been restricted to Europe and the Middle East.
“The net effect of accessing the Chinese market is that our avocado farmers will have more money in their pocket and increase employment in the agricultural sector,” said David Osiany, chief administrative secretary in Kenya’s Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development.
At an estimated market value of $15.15 billion in 2022 according to Statista, avocado exports could transform the Kenyan economy.
In Mexico, the world’s largest exporter of avocado, the fruit is referred to as ‘green gold’. It is so valuable that farms are guarded by armed security officers or organised vigilante groups, according to a documentary on Netflix.