Kenya regains lucrative EU mango market as Italy shows appetite for more
Kenya is once again regaining its fruit market in Europe, especially for mangoes.
Italy has already shown an appetite for the mangoes and offered to open its doors for more.
Last month, a team from the Ministry of Agriculture showcased five tonnes of the hot water treated mangoes in the European country.
The reception, according to Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) was good.
Managing Director, Theophilus Mutui said the mission in Italy has borne fruit after the country accepted to import more tonnes of the fruit.
“We were able to export the first batch of hot water treated mangoes to Italy and they were received.
We are in the process of up scaling this technology so that we can regain our market for mangoes in Europe,” Mutui said at the opening of the 3rd Phytosanitary Conference ending on Thursday at the institution’s headquarters in Nairobi.
Kenya imposed a self ban on the export of mangoes to European nations in 2014 to avoid sanctions that would have been occasioned by high incidence of fruit flies in the produce.
Pest free zones
But, several mitigative measures, including establishment of the pest free zones particularly in Makueni, and currently, the up-scaling of the hot water treatment technology for mangoes has seen the country’s hopes of regaining its Europe market growing.
“The demand for mangoes in Italy is now on the rise. We are exploring the UK and Germany markets for possible export of the country’s mangoes- that are now free of the destructive fruit fly,” he said.
Mutui said, in the next two weeks a delegation will visit the two countries to demonstrate how the technology is working.
Kenya’s horticultural produce has been facing challenges in exports because of the phytosanitary requirements.