The first batch of fresh avocados from Kenya, the largest avocado exporter in Africa, is set to arrive in China late this month. The export will increase Kenya’s foreign exchange earnings and benefit the country’s farmers.
It will also set a good example of closer agricultural cooperation between China and Africa under the China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035.
On Tuesday local time, four containers of fresh avocados were packed in Kenya.
They will be shipped by sea and arrive at Shanghai Port in late August, reporters learned from Shanghai-based Greenchain Information Science and Technology. The company plans to ship 150 containers of Kenyan avocados to China in 2022.
The first batch of Kenyan avocados will be sold at Shanghai’s fresh markets, as well as supermarkets and online channels in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in South China’s Guangdong Province, Ji Dongping, general manager of Greenchain, told the reporters on Thursday.
Export of avocados to China is expected to increase Kenya’s foreign exchange earnings, boost local economy, said Ji.
▲Kenya is ready to export the first batch of fresh avocado to China, it is set to arrive in late August, 2022 | Photo: courtesy of Shanghai Greenchain Information Science and Technology
Kenya is the sixth-largest exporter of avocados in the world and the largest on the African continent. Its avocado exports have risen steadily over the past three years but account for only 10 percent of its total production, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
“It is estimated that exports to the Chinese market will account for 40 percent of Kenya’s total avocado output, which will greatly improve the incomes of local farmers,” Ji said.
Avocados are still a niche product in China, where they are mainly sold in large cities. With Chinese consumption keeping growing, sales of avocados have great potential, Ji said.
Kenya became the first African country to export fresh avocados to China.
During the eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2021, China and its African partners released the China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035, taking a solid step forward in building a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.
Under the Vision, China-Africa annual trade is expected to reach $300 billion in 2035. China is committed to supporting Africa in increasing its export capacity. It is strengthening cooperation with African countries in the areas of inspection and quarantine of agricultural produce.
As an early harvest of the Vision, China and Kenya signed an export agreement for fresh avocado shipment in January.
With joint cooperation and coordination between China and Kenya, it only took half a year from the signing of the agreement to actual exports. On July 27, a sample of 72 kilograms of fresh Kenyan avocados arrived in China.
“The whole [customs] process has been smooth and as a trader, we feel it is becoming more convenient in terms of food inspection and customs clearance. It used to take two to three days to clear customs, but now it only takes one day,” Lü Cuifeng, chairman of Greenchain, told reporters on Thursday.
In addition to helping Africa export agricultural products, more Chinese companies are investing and building factories in Africa for food processing, helping create more local jobs, Lü said.
▲Kenya is ready to export first batch of fresh avocado to China, it is set to arrive in late August, 2022 | Photo: courtesy of Shanghai Greenchain Information Science and Technology
China has been Africa’s largest trading partner for 12 consecutive years.
According to China’s General Administration of Customs, total trade between China and Africa in 2021 reached $254.3 billion, up 35.3 percent year-on-year. Africa exported $105.9 billion of goods to China, up 43.7 percent year-on-year.
Over the past 10 years, China created 18,562 jobs a year on average in Africa, according to a Swiss-African Business Circle report.