NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya is to strengthen fruits, vegetables and
flower growing cooperative societies to empower them to export
directly to China and the Middle East, a government official
told Xinhua in Nairobi on Tuesday.
enable us to create efficiency in supply. We want to empower
these cooperatives to supply fruits and vegetables to
supermarkets in China and the rest of the world,” said Zakayo
Magara, managing director of Horticultural Crops Development, a
state agency under Kenya’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
He said experience
from Kenya’s direct exports to European Union countries shows
that those farmers who sell directly to foreign buyers without
going through brokers or auctions are earning double the price.
“This is the best
option for the small-scale farmers as it offers a better price
discovery,” said Magara. “We are turning our focus on supporting
and marketing of fruits and vegetables by small-scale farmers to
enable them benefit from emerging international markets of Asia
and the Middle East.”
Among the fruit
crops which have started being populated by the cooperative
societies are avocados, which officials said is growing to
become one of Kenya’s top exports.
“Recently we had a
huge supply of avocados for export, resulting in congestion at
the Port of Mombasa. This is a good sign that fruit growing by
small-scale farmers is taking root,” said Magara.
“Kenya has a huge
option on the types of fruits it can grow for export because of
the different weather conditions across the country. We can also
supply different fruits to the world market throughout the
year,” he said.
Magara said rising
interest in growing fruits and vegetables has created
opportunities for the private sector to invest in cold rooms.
“We need to increase
our cold rooms capacity in order to ensure that we adequately
preserve the rising volume of fruits and vegetables. This is an
area we would also want to see private local and international
investors take interest in,” he added.
Export of fruits and
vegetables earned Kenya about 90 million U.S. dollars and 240
million dollars respectively last year, according to a report
released by Fresh Produce Consortium Kenya in April.