Tanzania eyes China’s US$105m avocado market as production increases

TANZANIA – The Tanzania Horticultural Association (Taha) has unveiled plans of expanding its market into China’s US$105 million as it seeks to tap the potential market for local growers amid increased production.

Jacqueline Mkindi, chief executive, Tanzania Horticultural Association noted that there has been an increase in demand of the produce in Asia, specifically China, which the country is set to expand its market into.

According to data from China Customs, Beijing imports an average of 32,100 tonnes of avocados valued at US$105 million per annum.

However, given the stringent phytosanitary issues that restrict imports of local avocados into the multi-million-dollar Chinese market, producers have never been able to access this lucrative market.

Access to the lucrative market will require the government to declare existing quarantine pests for assessment by Chinese authorities before they open up the market for local avocados.

In a bid to unlock the market, TAHA has partnered with various government bodies as it seeks to comply with the standards and conditions for locally produced avocados to be granted access to the Chinese market, reports The Citizen.

“TAHA in collaboration with Ministry of Agriculture, through Plant Health Services (PHS) have initiated the formal process to enable our Tanzanian exporters to access the Chinese market and some of them have already started communication with potential buyers,” Ms Mkindi notes.

The avocado industry is among the fastest growing sub sectors in the horticultural industry in the country presented by growing demand in the international market with the commodity’s main export market being in European.

According to Mr George Akida, export manager Africado Limited, growth in the market has mainly been driven by attractive prices, hence presenting a strategic market for Tanzania’s produce if properly supported and explored.

“China is a potential market for our product, but we have never been able to access the lucrative market because of lack of a bilateral agreement to allow us to do so,” Mr Akida said.

Mr Akida said that the company exported 3,000 tonnes of avocados to the European market in 2018.

According to Anthony Chamanga, chief development manager at TAHA, Tanzania’s annual avocado production stands at around 7,000 tonnes.

Commercial production of the produce in the country is dominated by two export companies namely Africado Limited and Rungwe Avocados.

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