Uasin Gishu Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno and other officials discuss in one an avocado exporter’s warehouse in Shanghai. China will be buying avocadoes from Kenya.PHOTO|UGP
At least 13 of Kenya’s agricultural products have been cleared to enter the Chinese market, with avocado and macadamia, both highly recommended for growing in Uasin Gishu County, making the shortlist.
With President Uhuru Kenyatta having led a delegation that brokered exports to China, Uasin Gishu stands to claim a larger slice of the export pie even as farmers gradually pick up the diversification call.
Already, Governor Jackson Mandago and his deputy Daniel Chemno as well as government officers are walking round the clock, preaching the gospel of diversification to Uasin Gishu constituents.
About two months ago, 20,000 coffee seedlings were donated by the county government to members of farmers’ cooperatives in Turbo Sub-County, who are already sowing the beverage nut trees.
Uasin Gishu County boast conditions ample for thriving of almost every crop. “In the list of products, it is evident that we can supply almost everything to China,” says DG Chemno, a member of the President’s delegation to China.
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Deputy President William Ruto last week widely spoke on the need for farmers to diversify and adopt high value crops, saying avocado, coffee and macadamia are ideal for growing in Uasin Gishu.
The list of approved agricultural products from Kenya that are now cleared to enter the Chinese market are Avocado, french beans, legumes (Peas, beans, green grams etc), flowers , vegetables and fruits, macademia, Mangoes, peanuts, meat, hides and skins skins, bixa, gum Arabica and Myrr and Asian vegetables (Chilli, Karela)
“If our farmers can dedicate at least one acre of land for avocado, macadamia and coffee, we shall be able to export our products” adds the DG.
“And with weekly flights landing with cargo at Eldoret International Airport, this is already a plus for us, we can land in China within hours with our produce,” he says.
Chemno adds “…I interacted with an exporter (while in China) who says he has already sold 20 million pieces of avocado in China and says there’s still a growing demand for the fruit.”
The Chinese city of Shanghai’s municipality land mass is 6350 km square, which is roughly the size of Uasin Gishu and Egeyo Marakwet counties combined. Its GDP is $431 billion.
With a fast-growing population which stands at 31 million in 2018, it is said that the demand for avocado, macadamia (luxury nut) and the rest of the agricultural products is fast rising.
Coffee has a wider marker and a constant demand. A kilogran of grade one nut sells for Ksh 620 and others for Ksh 400 in current stats at Nairobi Coffee Exchange.