Kenya’s fresh avocados hit Chinese market amid hopes of tackling trade deficit
Kenya has started exporting its fresh avocados — dubbed as “green gold” — to China, which is seen as a step in Beijing’s elaborate plan to increase imports from Africa to help balance the trade between China and the continent.
The first batch of fresh avocados grown in Kenya and destined for the Chinese market was flagged off at a recent ceremony attended by senior government officials, diplomats, and industry executives. Kenya has thus became the first African country to export fresh avocados — dubbed as „green gold“ thanks to huge global demand for the produce that has turned this market into a lucrative one — to China in a move set to further boost the economic ties between the two countries. The first batch of fresh Kenyan avocados arrived in Shanghai earlier this month after Beijing opened its doors for 15 Kenyan firms, including orchards and pack-houses, to export fresh avocado to the vast Chinese market.
It is all part of broader efforts by Beijing to implement President Xi Jinping’s promise to increase imports from Africa. The news was greeted with enthusiasm in Kenya with the country’s Export Promotion and Branding Agency simply noting “enjoy every piece — from Kenya with love,” in a message to Chinese consumers. Some hope this latest trade development is a boon for avocado producers and a step toward evening out an imbalance between the two countries. “The export of fresh avocados to China is a monumental feat that will boost our economy and benefit key players across the avocado value chain including farmers,” said David Osiany, from Kenya’s Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development. But some analysts warn nations wanting to boost exports must know what stands between them and China’s market — whether it is pests, product quality or crop choice.