TANZANIA – Tanzania’s avocado export plans to China is taking shape with China sampling the region’s avocado farms and packhouses for compliance auditing.

This move symbolizes a breakthrough towards Beijing’s commitment to allow local grown butter fruits to access its 150-million-US-dollar lucrative market.

The Ministry of Agriculture’s notification to TAHA, the horticultural industry advocate, revealed the selection of three key farms – Usa Limited in Arusha, Rutuba, and Africado in Iringa and Kilimanjaro – for video inspections by the General Administration of Chinese Customs (GACC).

This inspection encompasses the entire process, from farm harvest to packaging for shipping, ensuring alignment with China’s stringent requirements.

This prospect underscores China’s growing demand for the fruit and Africa’s increasing significance as a supplier.

Jacqueline Mkindi, CEO of the Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA), emphasizes the mutual benefits: “Tanzanian avocados will grace Chinese shelves, fueling our economy through foreign exchange and job creation, fostering investor confidence in the sector.”

Accordin to Mkindi this potential breakthrough aligns with Tanzania’s strategic diversification of its avocado export outlets.

In 2022, China imported over USD 112 million worth of fruit, and Tanzania, ranking fourth in African avocado exports after Kenya, South Africa, and Morocco, seeks entry into this market.

Exports, according to the country’s Ministry of Agriculture report, skyrocketed from 17,711.49 tons valued at USD 51 million in 2020/21 to 26,826.3 tons worth USD 77.3 million in 2023.

Crop exports surge by 9.5% 

Meanwhile, Tanzania’s crop exports are at an all-time high having surged by 9.5% to USD 2.3 billion as of December 2023 from USD 2.1 billion in 2020/21, driven by increased exports of coffee, tobacco, cashew nuts, rice, sesame, legumes, and notably, avocados.

Agriculture Minister Hussein Bashe highlighted the diverse export destinations: “Avocados were shipped to several countries including the Netherlands, France, UK, Spain, Belgium, Russia, Germany, Norway, South Africa, India, and the United Arab Emirates.”

Horticultural crops, encompassing flowers, fruits, spices, and vegetables, recorded a boost from accessing more foreign markets, with an increase from 7,304,723 tons to 7,723,115.66 tons.

Small-scale farmers achieve global G.A.P certification

Furthermore, in another momentous turn, horticultural farmers in northern Tanzania, comprising nearly 1,000 members across Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions, have secured Global G.A.P certifications.

This achievement marks a significant milestone for smallholder farmers, ensuring compliance with international standards for safe farming practices, food safety, worker, and animal welfare, vital for exports to international markets.

Global G.A.P, dedicated to Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), assures adherence to European farm standards, signifying safer, sustainable, and rewarding farming practices among Tanzanian growers.

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