- Traditionally, Qatar sources most of its avocados from Uganda, Peru, South Africa, America, Mexico and Lebanon.
- Qatar has the highest avocado consumption compared to the population. The demand has grown fivefold from 598 tonnes in 2013.
Farmers in Kenya have been asked to take advantage of the ripe avocado market in Qatar to ease pressure on oversaturated Dubai.
Okisegere Ojepat, chief executive at the Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC) on Monday told journalists that Qatar is now accepting avocados via Hamad Port which became fully operational in 2020.
"The fact that avocado production in Qatar is non-existent, imports are present in the domestic market for a better part of the year. The Gulf state has cut reliance on the United Arab Emirates (UAE),'' Okisegere said.
Available data shows Qatar shipped in just over 3,000 tonnes of avocado in 2021, a 17 percent increase from the previous year.
Okisegere asked farmers to observe the required international standards to reap big in the Qatar market which is mostly supplied by Uganda.
Kenya has been actively seeking to expand its avocado market. In October last year, Agriculture and Livestock Development Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi attended the International Horticultural Expo 2023 in Doha where he announced the unlocking of new trade opportunities.
The CS assured Kenyan horticultural sector players that his ministry is keen to help entrepreneurs expand their export market in the Asian market, especially in Qatar.
Among the Arab countries, Qatar has the highest avocado consumption compared to the population. The demand has grown fivefold from 598 tonnes in 2013.
This is attributed to the popularity of avocados among the young population and the great interest of tourists coming to the country in avocado recipes.
Traditionally, Qatar sources most of its avocados from Uganda, Peru, South Africa, America, Mexico and Lebanon.
Kenya stands out with its avocado production increasing year by year.
It has an expanding market power all over the world due to its climate, geographical structure and cheap production cost, providing the best quality fresh avocados at the most affordable prices.
In the country, farmers mainly cultivate three varieties of avocados: Hass, Pinkerton, Fuerte and Jumbo.
Kenya is one of the leading avocado producers in Africa and exports the fruits to the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, China, France, Spain, Turkey, the European Union and the United States.
According to the Agricultural Food Authority (AFA), Kenya exports up to 20,000 metric tonnes of avocados annually to the European Union and the Middle East.
Late last year, Kenyan authorities decided to close its 2023/2024 fiscal year avocado season, and as a result, there would be no exports of the produce starting November 3.
The move was intended to prevent the harvesting and exporting of immature fruits, a practice that has harmed the country's export market in the past.
Kenya's horticultural exports have been rising steadily since 2020, with the latest data showing the country reaped Sh157 billion in 2023 against the backdrop of local and global economic interruptions.
A market report indicates that earnings grew by 6.8 per cent from Sh147 billion recorded in 2022, with the exports to the European Union (EU) market taking the lion’s share of 50.1 per cent.
Some of the leading export destinations include; the Netherlands enjoying a market share of 27.3 percent of the total horticulture exports, the UK (14.3 percent), France (12), UAE (5.8) and Germany (5.1).
The flowers sub-sector registered 70 percent, vegetables (18), and fruits (12 percent) of the total horticulture produce shipped during the review period.
The high volumes of fruits saw farmers pocket Sh32.2 billion during the period compared to Sh19.7 billion.