EXPORT MARKET

Kenya eyeing Germany and UK mango export markets

New hot water treatment technology expected to fight fruit flies that have affected mango export market

In Summary

• In 2019, Kenya exported 9.4 million kilos of mangoes valued at Sh1.4 billion compared to 7.1 million kilos in 2020 valued Sh1.1 billion. 

• In 2014, Kenya imposed a self-ban on export of mangoes to European market due to the fruit fly pest. 

Coast regional commissioner John Elungata and Tana River Governor Dhadho Godhana are shown mango pulp processing and packaging at the new Hola factory
PROCESSING: Coast regional commissioner John Elungata and Tana River Governor Dhadho Godhana are shown mango pulp processing and packaging at the new Hola factory
Image: ALPHONCE GARI
Fruit fly integrated pest management.
Fruit fly integrated pest management.
Image: ICIPE

Kenya is exploring new export markets for mangoes in the United Kingdom and Germany.

A delegation will visit  the two countries next month to market Kenya's hot water treated mangoes varieties.

Theophilus Mutui, Managing Director, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) said the European market was disrupted due to the fruit fly menace that affected local mango production.

Statistics from the Horticulture Crops Directorate indicate that the volume of mangoes exported in 2020 reduced by close to 2.3 million kilos.

In 2019, Kenya exported 9.4 million kilos of mangoes to various destinations at the value of Sh1.4 billion compared to 7.1 million kilos exported in 2020 with a value of Sh1.1 billion. 

Mutui said in order to address the problem, the Government has come up with hot water treatment technology and once the mangoes are treated, they are accepted in Europe.

He spoke on Monday during the opening of the Third Phytosanitary Conference (Plant Health) at Kephis headquarters in Karen.

“We were able to export the first batch of five tons of hot water treated mangoes to Italy and we are happy they were received and accepted. We are now upscaling the technology so that we regain the market for mangoes in Europe after the self-ban in 2014,” he said.

Mutui further said Kephis has established pest free areas in Makueni County and are working with farmers to trap the fruit fly pests.

He said Kenya is keen on the Pakistan market and a the deal could be sealed within two weeks.

Trade and Enterprise development Principal Secretary Johnson Weru confirmed last week that an MoU on plant protection initiated in 2016 on mangoes and citrus importation from Pakistan is awaiting signing.

He said this is subject to concurrence by Kenya’s State Department for Agriculture.

Weru said the two countries are committed to closely work together to review the proposed MoU to also export avocado and nuts to Pakistan.

Kenya is also negotiating with South Korea for export of avocado, chillies and other horticultural crops.