Avocado imports a stepping stone for improved bilateral relations between Kenya and India

New Delhi,  Sep 2023: Small domestic production opens an opportunity for good quality imports said Swadha Rizvi, Deputy Secretary, East and Southern Africa Division Ministry of External Affairs at the Launch event of Kenyan Avocado in India jointly organised by Kenya High Commission and ASSOCHAM. This avocado launch event will definitely improve bilateral relations with robust and multi-faceted partnerships. India offers immense potential for avocado consumption.

She further focused on saying that it took 8 long years of negotiations and diplomacy for Kenya to get market access in India for Avocados. So, it is definitely a moment to celebrate as Avocado represents the history, culture, and emotions of Kenya and culture is a gateway that has the power to bind countries together and its people together. This is a milestone in the diplomacy of the two countries and the bilateral relationships between India and Kenya. The government of India is confident that Avocado market access will help us to strengthen our trade relations with Kenya.

Amb. Irene Oloo, Deputy High Commissioner of Kenya to India shared insights on how Kenya exports about 23% of production of avocado. (95,000 tonnes). The increased production of avocados in Kenya calls for increased market access. It is for this reason that Kenya requested India to allow market access for Kenyan avocados.

She further added The value of trade between the two countries has been growing over the years to USD 1.83 billion in 2022. Currently the Balance of trade is in favour of India. We are confident the India market access to Kenyan Avocados will help balance the trade deficit and will facilitate growth and development in this sector, she highlighted.

Kenya is the world’s 6th largest avocados producer with a cultivated area of nearly 26,000 ha and a production of 416000 metric tonnes in 2021, double that of 2016. The increase of 20% per annum on average has been achieved largely through the expansion of avocado plantations by an average of 14% per annum with yields increasing by about 6%. This sector is dominated by small farmers owning less than 2 ha, who produce 70% of all Kenyan Avocados.

Kenya exports 23% of the production of avocados. Kenya accounts for about 82% of East African community avocado fruit export. Kenya’s main export markets are the Netherlands, USA, China Spain, UK, UAE, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt among others. We are happy that India has been added to its export markets.

Dr Umesh Kamble Co-Chairman of ASSOCHAM MSDC and Founder, CEO of Farm to Forks highlighted the nutritional value of the superfood and also called avocado green gold. Consumption of avocadoes is growing in India with respect to additional health benefits but the availability is less. It is a value-added product for the Agribusiness.

Dr. Kamble called for awareness creation and promotion of Avocado consumption among Indians. To further boost the consumption of avocados in India, we need to focus on awareness campaigns and educational initiatives to educate people about the nutritional benefits of avocados, different ways to incorporate them into daily meals, and the importance of supporting domestic avocado farmers. He also urged the industry to invest in research to develop innovative avocado-based products that cater to the Indian palate and meet consumer demands.

Through the above initiatives, we can promote the consumption of Kenyan Avocados in India.