Peter Muchemi tends to his avocado farm in Nyeri on March 15, 2019. In the 2018-19 financial year, Kenya exported avocados worth Sh10 billion. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
China institutes tough rules for avocado farmers
A logistical nightmare and the high costs of meeting tough conditions required for the export of Kenyan avocados to China are threatening to choke the lucrative deal inked last month.
The stringent conditions, which include requiring a farmer to peel and freeze the fruit before export, could lock out thousands of small-scale farmers who are eying the world’s largest market.
According to the rules seen by Saturday Nation, a farmer has to instal machines and coolers for peeling and freezing of the fruit ahead of export.
They will have to freeze the peeled fruits to negative 30 degrees Celsius and chill further to negative 18 degrees while on transit to the destination.
This means that farmers will have to invest heavily in cold rooms and meticulously follow all the requirements to reap from the deal billed as the game changer for Kenya’s agriculture.
The peeling and freezing requirement adds to 56 steps a trader has to take shuttling from one government agency to another to get an avocado export clearance.