Kenya temporarily bans avocado exports
A 90-kilogram ban of the fruit shot up to Sh2,560 (US$25) in December, making it the highest price since May 2014 when it sold for around Sh2,700 (US$26.30), Business Daily Africa reported.
A single avocado is currently said to be selling for between Sh50 and Sh80 (US$0.50-0.80) in Nairobi’s retail markets, up from between Sh10 and Sh20 (US$0.10-0.20) each during high season.
The Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) reportedly attributes the increase in the price of the fruit to the shortage of popular varieties - Fuerte and Hass.
Other reasons given for the ban were that shippers had been exporting immature fruit as international markets like Europe also experienced shortages.
“We have stopped the export of Fuerte and Hass varieties because traders would ship out immature crop because of high demand in the world market. However, we’re going to lift (the ban) starting next month once harvesting starts,” AFA director-general Alfred Busolo was quoted as saying.
Busolo added the shortage was expected to ease starting next month when the new season crop will start hitting the market.
“Fuerte variety will start getting to the market next month while Hass will be in supply in March, bridging the current deficit and reversing prices to the previous lows,” he was quoted as saying.
Avocado contributes seven percent of Kenya’s total fruit export to the global market but production has been static over the years, according to Business Daily Africa.