Commodities

Banana and broccoli farmers urged to tap Korea purchase deal

BANANA

A trader arranges green bananas at Nakuru’s Wakulima Market, Nakuru Town. FILE PHOTO | NMG

geraldandae

Summary

  • Banana and broccoli farmers in Kenya have been advised to seize opportunities in the South Korean market following a sales deal struck by the two nations.
  • Trade PS Johnson Weru said Korea in 2018 opened a window for imports of the two commodities from Kenya as part of a bilateral agreement between the two nations.

Banana and broccoli farmers in Kenya have been advised to seize opportunities in the South Korean market following a sales deal struck by the two nations.

Trade PS Johnson Weru said Korea in 2018 opened a window for imports of the two commodities from Kenya as part of a bilateral agreement between the two nations.

“In spite of the offer, we have noted that the volume of exports to these two products is dismally small,” he said in a letter addressed to Council of Governors chief executive Jaqueline Mogeni.

The PS said the two produce do not face strict restrictions as is the case with other fresh commodities meant for export, noting that this should be easy for farmers to export.

“These two products do not require pest risk analysis, however, the products should be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate from a competent authority in Kenya,” said Mr Weru.

The official urged counties to refer any interested party to Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) for the acquisition of these certificates.

“The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to inform as above and to further request your office to convey this information to the counties that can produce and export the two products,” said the PS.

Kephis managing director Theophilus Mutui said the agency is ready to issue certificates once the interested party approaches them for that.

“The lobby groups, which represent farmers, are supposed to create awareness among their members, then Kephis will inform for conformity and issue the phytosanitary certificates,” he said.

South Korea imports 70 percent of its food and in 2017, bananas were the most imported produce in the country recording 834,000 tonnes, worth $1.24 billion, according to statistics released by the South Korea Customs Service.

The largest fruit exporter to South Korea, accounting for 38.3 percent of the total fruit imports, was the United States.

In Kenya, areas which produce green bananas include Nyamira, Kakamega, Bungoma, Muranga, Nyeri, Kericho and Kirinyaga.