By George Okore
A link between Kenya Agribusiness and Agroindustry Alliance and Chinese Chambers of Commerce in East Africa will see local farmers access international market. Over 20,000 Kenya mangoes famers countrywide are expected to benefit.
Chairman of Chinese Chamber of Commerce in East Africa William Wu Zhuo said at the launch that Kenyan-grown mangoes will soon access markets in China to boost local farmers’ income. The move, he said, will increase yields for farmers who were previously growing conventional mango varieties.
Zhuo says Kenyan farmers, especially from Machakos County, one of Kenya’s drought-stricken areas, approached the trade federation to help find market for their produce to prevent the perishable fruits from going bad and hence incurring losses.
“We organized this event to benefit Kenyan mangoes farmers. They approached us through Kenya Chamber of Commerce already 15 tons of Kenyan mangoes are already exported to China” explains Mr. Zhuo.
East African Legislative Assembly member Peter Mathuki says the Chinese Mango Festival will create awareness and visibility for mango farmers’ pool of potential buyers. This festival will assist Kenyan mango growers find ready market for bumper harvest and Chinese have shown true friendship,” says lawmaker.
The Chinese Mango Festival brings together Kenya Agribusiness Alliance (KAAA), Kenya Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) and Chinese Chambers of Commerce in East Africa. KAAA Chief executive Lucy Muchoki says mango bonanza will to create linkages between the Chinese investors and Kenya small scale farmers from across the country.
More than 20,000Kenya mangoes famers across the country will benefit in the linkage between Kenya Agribusiness and Agroindustry Alliance and Chinese chambers of commerce to access international market. The initiative brings together, Kenya Agribusiness alliance, Kenya chambers of commerce and Kenya Chinese chambers of commerce.
KAAA Chief Executive Lucy Muchoki has said, the alliance will to create linkages between the Chinese investors and Kenya small scale farmers from across the country. The Director says the initiative will increase yields for farmers who were previously growing conventional mango varieties adding that Kenya produces four types of mangoes of which are the biggest and the sweetest around the globe, further mentioning that Mexican mangoes cannot compare to the Kenyan mango, which is three times the yield of Mexico.
She said Chinese company will help Kenyan mango farmers to produce quality juice which can be exported and help p reduce post-harvest loses, poor prices and also build Kenya-Chinese business relationship. Kenyan mango farmers, lack of co-operation had slowed down development in the sector which is the backbone of the economy and which employs majority of Kenyans both directly and indirectly, she added.
During the event, 50,000kilograms of mango produce were bought from the farmers by Chinese company based in Kenya. This market linkage program will enabled Kenyan mangoes farmers to not only export minerals but quality farm produce such as 23,000 tonns of mangoes.
“It was good news to more than 500 Kenyan farmers who sold 24,000 mangoes in a record two hours directly to the Chinese community, with farmers selling a box of apple mangoes for $5, which is more than four times what they conventionally earn from middlemen.
The festival is opportune, coming at a time when Kenya’s mango season starts officially in November-December and runs all the way to March-April each year. According to statistics from International Trade Centre (ITC), Kenya has seen an increase of over 400 percent in mango exports over the last five years. Key export markets are countries in the Middle East, such as the United Arab Emirates, which takes about 56 percent of the total, followed by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar.