Commodity business plan launch is key step to bolster Kenyan avocado exports

5 August 2015
ITC News
ITC-backed plan part of US$1 million project to enhance trade competitiveness in the country’s avocado sector

An important step to crack open new markets for Kenya’s avocado industry and boost exports of the fruit was taken in July with the launch of a commodity business plan (CBP) in Nairobi.

“The target market study in the avocado commodity business plan does not only address the supply concerns in the EU market, including the Scandinavian countries, but also addresses issues related to market entry in the Gulf markets of the Middle East, especially Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia,” Zakayo Magara, Managing Director of Kenya’s Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD), said in his opening remarks at the 28 July launch ceremony.

The CBP has been developed in close collaboration with HCD, the Export Promotion Council (EPC) of Kenya and the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK). It is part of a three-year US$1 million project under the Netherlands Trust Fund (III) programme, a sector-development programme managed and implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and funded by the Dutch Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI).

The project is expected to help the Kenyan avocado sector increase exports to existing and new markets, which will in turn ensure higher revenues for producers – a deliverable all stakeholders desire. 

“The ultimate objective of this commodity business plan is to guide the increase in avocado exports from Kenya, reduce erosion of market shares and increase smallholder revenues,” said Robert Skidmore, Chief of ITC’s Sector Competitiveness section.

Rob van Eijbergen of the CBI called the launch of the Commodity Business Plan “an important milestone of the project [that] will provide an important contribution to increasing exports of avocados from Kenya”.

The small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are beneficiaries of the project’s capacity building were also present at the launch ceremony. Upcoming activities under the project include training on export market planning; compliance and certification with GlobalGap, an important agricultural good practices standard; farm and post-harvest management, and fruit fly control techniques.

ITC is a joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

CBI (Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries) is part of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. Established in 1971 in order to support producers / exporters to get a foothold on the market in the Netherlands, support to Business Support Organisations in improving their capabilities and to act as a Matchmaker between suppliers and buyers. In 1991, the activities of CBI were expanded to the EU.