Listed agricultural firm Kakuzi is set to ship its second consignment of avocadoes to China after securing pre-shipment approvals from the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis).
The firm said in a statement on Tuesday that it will ship several 20-foot container loads of Hass variety avocado to China by sea before the end of this week as demand for Kenyan avocado in the Asian country continues to rise.
Kakuzi made its first shipment of the fruit to the East Asian economy in July.
“We received the pre-shipment clearance by Kephis last week and proceeded to load and dispatch the container to Mombasa over the weekend. The container is expected to leave the port of Mombasa for a 30-day voyage to China,” Kakuzi managing director Christopher Flowers said.
Mr Flowers said shipments to China will provide needed growth leverage for Kenyan produce and Kakuzi as it seeks to enhance its markets and product diversification strategy.
“In recent times, our order book with the Chinese buyers has been growing at an encouraging and steady pace. While we have a full order book from our existing customers, additional crop this year has enabled us to keep shipping at least one container weekly to China for the next two months even as the avocado harvest season ends,” he added.
In March this year, China allowed Kenya to export fresh avocado, which was a departure from the previous directive in 2019 that required the country to export only frozen fruit.
However, the plan has faced delays over several requirements including applying to Chinese phytosanitary (plant health) laws and regulations, health and safety standards and be free from any quarantine pests of concern to China.
Kakuzi is one of 15 farms that were approved by the Chinese National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) in July to export fresh avocado to China.
The farms are using nine-pack houses that have been approved by both the Chinese and Kenyan authorities to conduct the exports.