Kenya is set to resume mango exports to the lucrative European Union (EU) market at the end of this month after seven years of selfban, according to a statement released by the Embassy in Brussels, Belgium.
The announcement is likely to boost the confidence of majority of local farmers who have been grappling with lack of market and low income.
It followed a meeting between Embassy of Kenya in Brussels, a team of government regulatory agencies as well as the private sector in the horticulture sector with counterparts from the European Union.
According to the statement, Kenya embassy in Brussels, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (Kephis), Horticulture Crops Directorate and Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya met with the EU’s directorate-general for health and food safety, and appraised the directorate on the efforts Kenya has put in place to ensure compliance with the sanitary and phytosanitary requirements.
EU market shelves “The engagement with the regulator and industry actors of the EU will ensure that the Kenya mangoes that are currently in season are absorbed by the EU market shelves and that there is resumption of exports of mangoes to this important market during the November 2021 – March 2022 season.”
Kenya imposed the self-ban on the export of fresh mango fruits to the EU in 2014, due to numerous interceptions of fruit fly pest infested mango consignments. Local mango farmers’ have been exporting the fruits to the United Arab Emirates, though they complain of low prices as compared to EU.
In EU the grading is stricter than in Dubai.
Kenya is the fourth largest producer of mangoes in Africa, with a 1.8 per cent global production share totalling 900,000 tonnes.
Mango is the second highest exported fruit in Kenya, contributing to 10.80 per cent of total fruit export with a value of Sh1.4 billion Horticulture Crops Directorate director Benjamin Tito, said the self-ban was imposed in early 2014 as local mangoes had been infested with fruit fly and the mango weevil, pests that are classified as quarantine pests in European Union.