Opinion

Demand from China for Kenyan Chili Peppers

Dried Whole Chili Pepper
Vegetables
China
India
Kenya
Published Oct 18, 2019
Kenya's chili pepper industry is growing. Recently, there has been demand from China for Kenyan chili peppers as well.

Kenya might not be the first country that comes to mind when thinking of chili peppers, but the chili industry in Kenya is growing. According to Primax Agencies Ltd, a chili grower and exporter from Kenya, the chili production in Kenya totaled around 50K tons in 2018. Kenya exports approximately 60% of its chili production, mainly to European countries such as Italy, Germany, and Spain.

Kenya produces both the long, red chilis (Cayenne) and green chilis (Bird’s Eye). The Kenyan climate is well-suited for the production of chili peppers. The peppers are grown in the hottest area of Kenya and the more heat the chili peppers receive, the spicier they become. The season runs from mid-October until the end of the year. Kenyan chili peppers are often spicier and slightly cheaper than Indian, Moroccan or Spanish chilis.

China has recently shown interest in importing Kenyan chili peppers. Primax Agencies Ltd has sent the first sample of its Cayenne pepper to Chinese customers. According to the company, the pepper was well-received due to its spiciness. Because of import restrictions, the peppers can only be exported dried. The company dries their peppers naturally, not by making use of machines but by leaving the peppers out in the sun to dry out. 

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