A team comprised of Government regulatory Agencies as well as the Private Sector in the horticulture sector have met and discussed with counterparts from the European Union (EU) and EU private sector equivalents on possible resumption of Mango export to the European Union after a self·ban of seven years.
Kenya is the fourth largest producer of mangoes in Africa, with a 1.8 percent global production share totaling 0.9 million tonnes. Mango is the second-highest exported fruit in Kenya, contributing to 10.80 percent of total fruit export with a value of KES. 1,424,695,762. Mango production is an important economic activity in Kenya with potential to improve food and income securi,ty.
The subsector contributes directly and indirectly to the livelihoods of an estimated 2 million Kenyans; with smallholder farmers supplying 60 percent of the national mango production.In 2014, Kenya imposed the sel’f ban on the export of fresh mango fruits to the EU due to numerous interceptions of fruit fly pest infested mango consignments.
The Kenya Embassy in Brussels, Kenya Plant HealthInspectorate Services (KEPHIS), Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) (Horticulture Crops Directorate) and Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya (FPCK) met with the European Union’s Directorate· General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE),and appraised the Directorate on the efforts Kenya has put in place to ensure compliance withthe sanitary and phytosanitary requirements.
The team reiterated Kenya’s commitment to comply to the set sanitary and phytosanitary requirements and requested European Union’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety to communicate to EU Member States of Kenya’s readiness to export to European Market.
In a meeting with the European Union Private sector under the European Association of Fresh Produce Association (Freshfel Europe),the Kenya delegation pitched for the Kenyan Mango and requested the organization to inform its membership of Kenya’s readiness to supply Mangoes to European importers.
Among the measures the Government of Kenya in collaboration with the Private Sector is putting in place include establishing areas of low pest prevalence and the hot water treatment to ensure phytosanitary compliance to make ready Kenyan mangoes for the European market. Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives (MOALF&C) through AFA is installing a public hot water treatment facility at the National Horticulture Centre (NHC) in Jomo Kenyatta nternational Airport (JKIA) while Agrivalue and Kibwezi Agro are spearheading installation of private hot water treatment facilities.
Through the Public Private Partnership, Makueni County has been established as one low pest prevalence where mangoes for export shall besourced. Surveys are underway toidentify other areas where similar hot water treatment initiatives will be installed.
It Is envisaged that this engagement with tile Regulator andIndustry actors of the EU will ensure that the Kenya mangos that are currently in season are absorbed by the EU market shelves and that there is resumption of exports of mangos to this important market during the November 2021 – March 2022 season.