Avocado farmers risk losing export licence over pesticides

According to the Avocado Society of Kenya CEO Ernest Muthomi, some licenses might be suspended from exporting the fruit after concerns were raised over the said product.

“Use of alternative pesticides can result into cancellation of a farmers’ or an exporter’s license,” Muthomi said in Meru on Wednesday.

Muthomi says there are only five registered and authorised types of pesticides that are meant to be used and at times, they run out of stock.

One of the most common pest that degrades the quality of the fruit is aphids, where some farmers opt to use chemicals that control the said pest in coffee.

Most of these pesticides leave a lot of residue, which eventually has side effects on humans, especially when it exceeds the required international limit.

Kenya exported avocados worth Sh10 billion in the 2017/18 financial year according to data presented by Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service.

The EU accounted for 42 per cent of all exports followed by the Middle East which had 28 per cent.

Avocado is ranked fourth as the most important national fruit in Kenya and represents 17 per cent of the country’s total horticultural exports. 


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