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Kenyan Avocado Market Guide

Country Specific
Aug 2, 2022
Edited by
Juan Carlos
HS Code: 080440 - Fruit, edible; avocados, fresh or dried
FAO Code: 0572 - Avocados
Share in Export
1.81%Rank 10
Share in Import
0%Rank 104
Share in Production
Export Volume
1Y +15.99%
Import Volume
1Y -60.03%

Seasonality of Main Producing Regions

What Are the Common Types of Avocado Grown in Kenya?

Kenya has over 40 varieties of avocado, where Hass is the main export variety, and Fuerte is preferred for processing. Hass and Fuerte are the most exported varieties from Kenya.

Other commercial varieties identified in Kenya include Keitt, Reed, Booth 8, Simmonds, Pinkerton, Nabal, Puebla, Tonnage, Ettinger, Hayes, G6, and G7. 

Puebla, Fuerte, Duke, G6, and G7 are varieties used as rootstocks.

Seventy percent (70%) of the avocados are grown by smallholder farmers who have 5-20 trees per homestead, 20% by medium-scale farmers who have over 100 trees, and 10% by large commercial plantations which have 10 hectares or more in production. 

The varieties Tonnage, Simmonds, and Booth 7&8 are suited to lowland areas between 90 and 800 m asl.

Hass and Nabal are suited to altitudes 800-2100 m asl. 

Fuerte and Puebla are suited to altitudes 1500-2100 m asl.

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What is the Kenya Avocado Seasonality?

Kenya’s equatorial climate allows it to produce avocados throughout the year. The main season for Kenyan avocados is from February to October.

The Hass season in Kenya runs from June to mid-September, and the Fuerte starts a little earlier in March/April.

Harvesting of avocados in Kenya takes place between April and September.

Since most varieties do not change color on maturity, a few fruits should be picked and stored at room temperature for 7-10 days. If they soften without shriveling, then the fruit is ready for harvesting. Fruit should not

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What Are the Main Avocado Producing Regions in Kenya?

Most of the Kenyan avocado farmers are found in Murang’a, Nyeri, Kiambu, Kisii, Meru, and the entire Mt. Kenya region. The other regions where avocado farming is taking shape include Nandi, Bomet, Uasin Gishu, Trans- Nzoia, Bungoma, and Siaya counties. 

About 70% of avocado is grown in Central and Eastern Provinces. Central Province produces 40% with Muranga, Kiambu, and Thika Districts as the main producing areas. Eastern Provinces produce about 28% with Embu and Meru as the main producing areas. Western Provinces produce about 13% with Nyeri and Kissi as the main producing areas. The rest is produced in the Rift Valley with 10%, Nyanza 6%, Coast Province with 2% and Nairobi Province 1.% 

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Regulations in Exporting Country

What Are the Exporting Process for Avocados in Kenya?

Step by step procedure has been provided by the government through the Info Trade Kenya website:

1. Preliminary registrations, licenses & certificates:

Register with the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK)

- Register with AFA Integrated Management Information System (IMIS)

- Register with AFA Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD)

- Register with Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) (for fresh produce)

- Register with the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KNCCI)

- Train & register with Kenya TradeNet System (KESWS)

- Register with the KRA Rules of Origin section

- Food hygiene license

2. Obtain the necessary permits:

- Laboratory test report

- Phytosanitary certificate (for fresh produce).  Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) issue a phytosanitary certificate to ascertain that the consignment is pest and disease free and meets the standards of the country of destination.

- Certificate of origin: Non-preferential certificate of origin or Preferential certificate of origin

- Export certificate

3. Customs Clearance

Each point of exit/entry point has its own procedure to clear a consignment of avocados. 

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Quality Control/Certification

What Documents Are Required for a Kenyan Avocado Exporter?

All avocado exports from Kenya should present the following certificates:
  • Laboratory test report: Prior to the issuance of a phytosanitary certificate for the export of avocados, the consignment has to be sampled and tested to determine the maturity of the crop and oil content, among other factors. Sampling and analysis of the avocados are done by AFA Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD), which issues a laboratory test report and clear the consignment for export. 
  • Phytosanitary certificate (for fresh produce): A phytosanitary certificate certifies that plants & plant products are free from regulated pests and conform with other phytosanitary requirements of the importing country. Traders are required to obtain a phytosanitary certificate for each consignment and are expected to know the market requirements of their intended export market. The certificate is issued by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS).
  • Certificate of origin: The Certificate of Origin (COO) is an international trade document that certifies that a certain product being exported is wholly manufactured, produced, processed, or obtained from the exporting country.
  • Non-preferential certificate of origin: A non-preferential certificate of origin is an export document issued by the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) that confirms the country of origin of goods being exported. The AfCFTA certificate of origin is issued by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Rules of Origin Section.
  • Preferential certificate of origin: For the Free Trade Agreements that Kenya has; COMESA, AGOA, GSP, EAC, and EU.
  • Export certificate: An export certificate is issued by AFA Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD) to an exporter of horticultural produce (fresh fruits, vegetables, plants and flowers) as an indication that AFA HCD has cleared the consignment for export.

Other certificates will be requested according to the country or region of destination.

As most of the Kenyan avocados are heading to the EU, the export requirement are based on the EU's  prerequisites

  • Export license from HCDA
  • Phytosanitary and conformity certificates from KEPHIS
  • Euro 1 Certificate (For EU Market)
  • Global GAP Certification
  • MRL limit compliance (EU)
  • For UK supermarkets, they require BRC certification
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What Are the Main Trends of Kenyan Avocado Production?

Kenya is the world’s sixth-largest producer of avocados, with 322 thousand mt of production in 2020 (FAO). Kenya dedicates about 24 thousand hectares to fruit production with a yield of  132 thousand hectograms/hectare. 


Kenya's avocado production volume increased from 264 thousand mt in 2019 to 322 thousand mt in 2020.  In avocado production in Kenya, about 70% of the production is done by small-scale farmers who grow the fruits for subsistence, for the local market, and for export purposes. Kenya has huge potential for avocado production from both small-scale and large-scale farmers. 

Avocados are also Kenya’s leading fruit export, accounting for nearly one-fifth of its total horticultural exports.

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What Are the Main Trends of Kenyan Avocado Exports

Kenya is the 8th largest global exporter of fresh avocados, with 1.9% of the global market share in 2021 

In 2021, Kenya exported 95 thousand mt of fresh avocados worth USD 140.11 million. Export volumes of Kenyan avocados are only exceeded by Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Spain, Chile, Colombia, and the United States.

The Netherlands (25.7%), France (15.7%), and UAE (12.5%) are their largest buyers., followed by Spain (11.4%), Russia (6.4%), and Saudi Arabia (5.8%).

Kenya is also notable as one of the top exporters with the fastest growth in 2021 with a 21% YoY export value increase and a 16.8% volume increase. 

Between 2017-2021 Kenya had a yearly exported value growth of 12%. Among its fastest growing markets for avocado exports over the last 5 years are; Turkey (115%), Spain (46%), Ukraine (330%), and Germany (98%). However, Kenya only exports 10% of its total avocado production. By comparison, Chile exports 55% and South Africa exports 60%. This means Kenya still has a huge export avocado potential. 

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Who Are the Main Competitors of Kenyan Avocados?

The only countries in which Kenya leads the market share of avocados are:

The United Arab Emirates - 47.4%

Saudi Arabia - 54.5%

Turkey - 77.8%

Egypt - 61.6%

Libya - 98%

For the rest of the markets in which Kenya supplies avocados, it has tough competition from other Latin American, African, and Middle Eastern Countries.

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