KEPHIS on the export of immature avocados to the international market

KEPHIS on the export of immature avocados

Mkulima today a spot check carried out on several avocado orchards raises an alarm. In Muranga and Kirinyaga regions. Most avocados have not attained the required dry matter as per the requirement for overseas shipping.

Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) is the government agency that is charged with the quality of agricultural inputs and produce.

This it does to prevent adverse impacts on the economy, environment, and most important human health.

Avocado farming and export is a value chain that requires close monitoring because of its ease of entry. This results in the need for close monitoring of the entire value and supply chain in terms of phytosanitary compliance and quality.

Kenya avocado exports have been plagued by several issues the major one being the harvesting and export of immature fruits.

This is a major issue because it is a violation of the provisions of OECD vegetables and fruits standards that Kenya is a signatory to through the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service – KEPHIS.

Harvesting of immature fruits leads to loss of market and poor reputation since the fruits never ripen on the shelves leading to losses and unhappy clients.

If these issues persist the global credibility of the country can be negatively impacted even being denied access to some markets.

High-quality avocado fruits are good ambassadors of Kenya. It not only makes the country more competitive in the global market but also leads to better earnings through foreign exchange.

With better earnings, the country’s GDP grows significantly and results in more job opportunities for farmers and those in the value chain.

Inspection

In order to avoid losing the lucrative international market, Kenya has come up with measures to manage the quality of fruits that go to the international market.

With the regulations, all avocado fruit exporters are required to seek authority from the general manager of phytosanitary services at the government agency, KEPHIS.

Before the inspection by the team at KEPHIS, you will be required to provide a valid HCD lab report detailing the dry matter content.

For your fruits to be inspected you can reach the relevant team and the general manager phytosanitary services through the use of  gmps@kephis.org and copy it to the following emails kephisiu@kephis.org and phyto@kephis.org

As an avocado farmer don’t be duped into harvesting now. The current fruits have more water in them resulting in a low dry matter that is not worthy of sea freight. With the low dry matter, the fruits will not ripen instead turn into balls.

As a result of the high competition from other avocado exporting countries, we could lose our reputation as a country.

Most avocados with black spots will be processed for their oil and puree.

Spraying

You as the first contact of the fruits for export ensure you practice high ethical standards.

Spray the avocado fruits with a short pre-harvest interval fungicide.

There are also organic options available. For any more information on what to use kindly contact the Avocado Society of Kenya, ASOK.

ASOK society is working closely with the government to ensure immature and poor quality avocado fruits are not harvested or exported.

For more inquiries contact 0722406941, 0722457388, 0722292360, and 0733917964 for international calls kindly include the code +254 and omit the first 0.

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