Africa is a place enriched with an excellent agricultural prowess and some countries are having exquisite prolificacy when it comes to this. Kenya has now overtaken South Africa to become the biggest exporter in Africa, boosting its avocado industry in immense terms.
Kenya has done extremely well when it comes to accessing new markets and increasing its volumetric growth rate. This has substantially aided the growth of the avocado industry, and subsequently overtaking South Africa in the process. Trade statistics from the International Trade Centre show that Kenya became the 11th largest exporter avocados in the world in 2017, exporting a record volume of 51, 507 tons to the world.
South Africa has always enjoyed the lead position as the biggest exporter from Africa but after having produced 43,492 tons, the country has relinquished this position to the East African country. As regards its global position, Kenya holds 1.3% of the total world volume, and South Africa holds 1.1%.
Kenya has made some striking strides in the impressive growth of its avocado industry. Below is a picture outlining the growth that the country has made in terms of tons exported.
Kenya has tapped into new markets like the Russian Federation. The biggest importers of avocados from Kenya include the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. South Africa mainly relies on the European Union for its exports, and has been seen here, Kenya relies on the East. The UAE tops the list with some 12, 041 tons for 2017. Saudi Arabia is Kenya’s fourth largest importer with some 4, 874 tons worth of imports in 2017.
Kenya is also enjoying considerable success in Europe, with second, third, and sixth major export markets for Kenya being in that continent. The Netherlands, France, the United Kingdom and Spain are fond of avocados from Kenya. Singapore, Qatar, China and Egypt are a set of newcomers that will anchor the Kenya avocado export market. Japan, Thailand and South Korea are also among this group.
John Oroko, the CEO of Selina Wamucii, one of Kenya’s fastest growing avocado exporters, said that it was only a matter of time before Kenya became the leading avocado exporter on the continent.
Oroko said: "Kenya has had a steady year on year growth since 2012 and, despite facing a severe drought in 2017, managed to export a record over 50,000 tons. I have every reason to believe this year will be way better given that we had rains and the avocado sizes have increased significantly. Of importance to note is that Russia and Hong Kong (a key gateway to mainland China) have had over 500% market growth and these are very key markets for our avocados if the country is to maintain its lead."
"The EU market is already a mature market for Kenya's avocados and significant growth can only be achieved with the nurturing of these new and strategic emerging markets for Kenyan avocados especially China and Russia. The future indeed looks very bright."
Kenya’s avocado industry has become stronger than in previous years, and its export dominance is now a trend to watch, indeed. There is still great potential for the country, and many other African countries can take some lessons from Kenya.
Header image credit: Selina Wamucii