Kenya is eyeing bigger exports of avocado to Egypt amid rising demand for the fruit in the north African nation.

The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) has invited farmers to submit their product specification for export of one-40 feet container (with 20 pellets) to Cairo.

They are required to provide phytosanitary and health certificates, among others, to ensure their products are free from pests and diseases.

KNCCI Trade, Policy and Advocacy Officer Fredrick Mukilya attributed the rise in demand to the quality of local avocados as well as the country’s ability to satisfy buyers’ requests.

“We are looking for Kenyan companies especially those who are exporting Fuerte avocado. We have communicated the same to our members,” Mr Mukilya told the Business Daily.

Some of the avocados whose requests are high include Fuerte  and Hass, which are known for their richer tastes and nutritional values.

So far, about 14 farmers have responded to the request with the deadline being tomorrow.

Apart from Egypt, demand is also high in Russia, and the Middle East.

Data from the Horticulture Directorate shows that the value of Kenya’s avocado exports jumped 93 per cent to Sh4.26 billion between January and March compared to a similar period last year.

Kenya, which is ranked eighth globally in avocado production, exported 26,481 tonnes of the fruit during the period compared to 15,101 tonnes in the first three months of 2020.

This followed the lifting of a ban on avocado shipments, which the regulator had said was necessary to curb pre-mature harvests by cartels keen on profiteering from global demand.

The Directorate of Horticulture allowed the resumption of export of the popular Fuerte variety on February 15 followed by Hass on March 8 after close to a four-month ban.

The avocado season for these main varieties normally comes to an end at that time resulting in a shortage of the fruit in the country, pushing up the cost of the commodity.