- Speaking during the flagging off ceremony, Trade CAS says the farmers have been having market challenges ending up counting losses.
- The farmers have been urged to observe value addition to sustain international avocado trade.
Kenya has dispatched the first batch of avocados to China after more than three years of negotiation between the two countries.
The batch will leave Mombasa port, where it will take 24 days before it arrives in China.
Speaking during the flagging off ceremony, Trade Chief Administrative Secretary David Osiany said the farmers have been having market challenges ending up counting losses.
However, Osiany said the strategies employed by President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration has seen farmers getting adequate training, support and favourable marketing policies.
The CAS said the farmers' hard work and resilience has seen the country emerge as the leading exporter of Hass avocado in Africa within two years.
He said Kenya overtook South Africa, which was leading two years ago.
Osiany encouraged farmers to maintain the lead since Kenya is holding sixth position globally with the fruits export.
"We have one of the best policies for international trade. A lot of investors have opted to trade and invest locally and internationally with us with ease," he said.
He spoke at Sunripe company in Bibirioni ward in Limuru constituency in Kiambu county on Tuesday.
Sunripe is a company that buys avocados from farmers in the country and exports them to markets in different countries.
Osiany was the chief guest during the flagging off of the first batch of Hass avocado to China.
"My boss President Uhuru will be happy to learn the progress. It is through his government's commitment that we are having this kind of trade. The CS for Trade Betty Maina will be happy too," he said.
"The Chinese trade should be held with a lot of care. It was achieved after much research following the challenges our farmers had.
"Farmers will now realise profits to keep them going. For this reason, it's a wake up call to increase their production so as to boost the export and expand with time."
He lauded Chinese government for upholding the trade treaties signed between the two governments.
He was accompanied by Chinese Embassy Minister Counsellor Zhang Yijin.
Others were Kenya Health Inspectorate Services CEO Prof Theophilus Mutai and Pest Control Products Board CEO Dr Esther Kimani, among other officials from government departments dealing with agriculture and marketing.
Prof Mutai urged avocado farmers to invest on value addition so as to sustain the new overseas market.
(edited by Amol Awuor)