Kenya to start avocado exports to South Korea early next year


By Murimi Gitari, 27 July 2021

Kenya will early next year start exporting avocadoes to South Korea. This is according to Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service Managing Director Prof Theophilus Mutui.

Speaking during a journalists awareness workshop programme organized by Market Access Upgrade Program Kenya (MARKUP) at Kephis headquarters, the MD noted the market access for Kenyan avocadoes to South Korea follows discussions held between the two countries during the Coffee Expo in South Korea mid this month led by Trade and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary, Betty Maina.

“During the meeting, it was agreed that we fast track pest risk analyses for avocados and possibly by March-April next year, Kenya will be able to export avocados to South Korea.” Prof Mutui said.

Kenya already exports unripe bananas and broccoli to South Korea after the two products were exempted from Pest Risk Analysis but require to be accompanied by a phytosanitary (plant health) Certificate.

Other export products to the Asian nation from Kenya include coffee, copper waste, articles of apparel and clothing accessories, tobacco, and cut flowers.

The KEPHIS MD added that with time, the country would soon start exporting pineapples, dried chilies and sim sim to the Asian country. 

Prof Mutui recognized the European Union as a major market for Kenya’s flowers, fruits, vegetables and herbs, and noted Kenya’s pursuit to open its market for Avocados to the US. 

 “In view of the traditional and new markets, we urge exporters to strictly adhere to market requirements. This includes scouting for pests and diseases and take steps to mitigate against them and adherence to set maximum residue limits.” The MD said.

The Market Access Upgrade Kenya programme (MARKUP) is funded by the European Union and implemented by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO in partnership with the National government, County governments and the private sector in Kenya.

Implemented in 12 counties in the country, the programme uses a bottom-up approach to address county specific needs with priority value chains of focus being mangoes, passion fruits, snow peas, chillies, groundnuts, French beans, macadamia, herbs and spices.

UNIDO-MARKUP national project coordinator Maina Karuiru said one of their mandates as MARKUP is to accelerate market access for export products that will also increase income for small scale growers.