KENYA – Kenya’s Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) has lifted a temporary ban on export of all Kenyan Fuerte and Hass avocado varieties over maturity issues – a move welcome by fresh produce exporter Selina Wamucii (Kenya) Ltd.

According to CEO John Oroko, the lifting of the temporary suspension on the avocado exporters would bring relief to the farmers, exporters and importers of Kenyan avocados.

“It’s definitely very good news for the small family growers who produce over 70% of avocado that is exported in Kenya,” he said.

“The temporary ban was a wake-up call for the exporters with the ban having been imposed to stop exporters shipping out immature crop because of high demand in the world market.

We are now getting into the main avocado season and hope that all industry players comply with the export requirements. The responsibility is now on the exporters to follow the protocols to avoid any future suspensions,” Oroko said.

To ensure that only mature avocados are exported, AFA has set the below criteria for mature avocado, among others include a dull appearance of the skin for the Fuerte variety of avocado; with a shrivelling and yellowing of the fruit stalk.

Further, when cut and the seed is removed, the seed-coat should be dark brown and dry and does not adhere to the flesh.

The fruit should also contain at least 20% dry matter content and oil content of 8% and above, says AFFA.