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Economy

China could open market for fresh produce

 Adam Lane
Huawei Technologies (Kenya) Senior Director Public Affairs Adam Lane addressing guests at the KEG luncheon on May 20, 2019. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU 

China has hinted at plans to open its market for more fresh produce from Kenya following successful entry of stevia and frozen avocado.

China’s ambassador to Kenya, Mr Wu Peng, said the two countries have been working on a raft of trade pacts that could relax the stringent quality demands and open the populous nation’s market to Kenya’s fresh avocado and horticultural products.

Last year, Beijing and Nairobi signed an agreement on the export of frozen avocados, which makes Kenya the first African country to export the commodities to China.

The two states also struck a deal on export of stevia to China and have since signed an MoU on sanitary and phytosanitary (plant quality standards), which pave the way for Kenya’s access of horticultural products into the Chinese market.

“We are still working to seal the deal on export of fresh avocados, as well as other horticultural products,” Mr Peng told editors in Nairobi yesterday.

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He was responding to growing concerns that small scale farmers are unable to benefit from the current market opening because it is expensive to have their fruits exported in frozen form.

Mr Peng said growing demand for high-quality agricultural products in China signalled gradual growth for Kenya’s agricultural exports.

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