Kenya has unseated South Africa as Africa’s top exporter of avocado and has also made it into the top ten exporters of avocado in the world raking in some $78 million in 2017, according to a report published by World’s Top Exports.
Congrats Kenya: now Africa's top avocado exporter. By coincidence I tweeted yesterday about Kenyan farmers growing more 🥑🥑to meet European demand. Now International Trade Centre reports Kenya exported a record 51,507 tons in 2017 against old champ South Africa’s 43,492 tons. pic.twitter.com/BnXe69oJ0I
— James Hall (@hallaboutafrica) August 16, 2018
The East African country is currently exporting a record 51,507 tons against South Africa’s 43,492 tons with the latter securing the 11th position on the top 15 list of countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of avocados during 2017. South Africa posted declines in international sales in the year under review.
Avocados exports by country totalled US$6 billion in 2017 and only 3.4 percent of the total value was generated by African exporters. South Africa $64.1 million in 2017 and Morocco gained $45.9 million.
The competition between Kenya and South Africa over avocado exports has existed for a long time and in 2010, South Africa banned the importation of avocado from the East African country. The ban was lifted in 2018.
Kenya began commercial production of avocado only 40 years ago and it is now estimated to rank fourth in importance among national fruit crops and have grown to represent 17% of total horticultural exports from Kenya.
Kenya’s biggest buyers are the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands, France, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United Kingdom and Spain respectively.
Avocados are noted for their smooth texture and have a distinct and subtle flavour used in savoury and sweet dishes around the world. They are high in fat and are popular in vegetarian recipes as a meat-substitute in sandwiches and salads.
Kenya is making steady progress globally in its Agribusiness sector as it exports 29% of the world’s coffee, 10.4% of live trees, plants, cut flowers and 6.2% of the world’s mineral fuels including oils. Kenya also exports 2.3% plastics and plastic articles and 2.2% of the world’s pharmaceuticals.