Kenya’s avocado sector gets USD 1 million boost from the Netherlands
Promoting the avocado sector in Kenya will generate new export revenue for the country and create employment for its young and dynamic labour force, said Mr Anders Aeroe, Director of Market Development of the International Trade Centre (ITC).
He said this at the launch of the USD 1 million project to enhance the competitiveness of the avocado sector in Nairobi, Kenya, on 2 February 2015. The project is financed by the Netherlands Trust Fund (NTF) III programme through the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI).
‘This project aims to further capacitate farmer groups through technical and hands-on training to assist them in compliance with quality certifications required to export their products,’ said Mr Aeroe. ‘They will be introduced to good agricultural practices including production, pre-and post-harvest activities and addressing challenges related to fruit fly infestation.’
Mr Aeroe said Kenya has great potential for growth with horticulture bringing in the largest foreign exchange for the East African state, contributing to 23% of its GDP. He stated that the NTF III project is in support of Kenya’s national horticultural policy targeted at the expansion of horticultural exports including cash crops such as avocado.
‘Improving the competitiveness of this sector will produce a multiplier effect that responds to a range of development priorities such as poverty reduction, rural development, women’s empowerment and youth employment,’ said Mr Aeroe.
This project, which will run until July 2017, will see Kenyan exporters learning about export planning, development and implementation; marketing; utilising trade information; and quality management.
‘Kenya is a priority country for ITC, given the conducive government policy and private sector leadership that have helped to make it one of Africa’s most talked about success stories in the agri-business sector. Today, agriculture amounts to half of Kenya’s GDP, employing 75% of the workforce,’ said Mr Aeroe.
The avocado project is implemented in collaboration with the Horticultural Crops Directorate, Export Promotion Council of Kenya and the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya.