Kenya's main avocado season coming to a close

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Kenya's main avocado season coming to a close

By virtue of its geographic advantages on the equator Kenyan avocado production is ongoing, but the country's major crop season is set to finish in the coming weeks.

Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya CEO Stephen Mbithi has told the country's main avocado exports are expected to come to a close by early-November.

He says volumes were up this year with better prices, particularly in France, while competition with other Southern Hemisphere countries wasn't really an issue.

"Of course, Peru is a large supplier in any case with Chile and South Africa too, but I don't see it as having one country's fruit that is much better than the rest - we haven't seen anything like an advantage for one particular country," he says.

Mbithi says Kenya is set for increased avocado volumes next year on the back of year-on-year planting of new acreage, while the exchange rate will continue to play an important role in the industry's success and challenges.

"The exchange rate is a positive and a negative - it's positive because the shilling is the lowest it's been in its history, but negative because we import a lot of inputs like agrochemicals and our freight is paid in US dollars," he says.

"But in the sense that what we're getting for our product is in euros then we're getting a lot more shillings for that.

"Overall it's positive for horticulture but frankly it's not good for the economy."

Related story: African avocado exports to Europe down 20.5%

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