The differing positions taken by senior government officials on Chinese avocado export quality rules are a blot on official policy.
While State officials are ideally supposed to read from the same script especially when it comes to matters international, the clash between top Trade and Agriculture ministries should be quickly nipped in the bud.
According to the Trade and Industry ministry negotiations are ongoing with the Chinese government to reverse Beijing’s requirement that only frozen avocado can be exported. However, the Agriculture ministry maintains that the rule should not be relaxed in order to safeguard Kenyan produce exported to that market.
While both ministries could be taking positions that are for the good of the country, the public spat does not augur well for the country’s image as it only shows that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.
Kenyan avocado is reportedly prone to fruit flies and the government in July signed a deal that farmers would only be allowed to export frozen avocado to China. We urge the ministries to work together in ensuring that our farmers do not suffer as a result.