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Wa Iria leads Kenya's team to avocado congress in Colombia

Tuesday September 24 2019
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Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria (left) with other dignitaries in Colombia’s capital Medellin on September 24, 2019 where he is representing Kenya at the World Avocado Congress. PHOTO | NDUNG'U GACHANE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By NDUNGU GACHANE

Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria on Monday met World Avocado Congress steering committee in Colombia’s capital Medellin ahead of the main event which is aimed at championing for a global market for the produce.

The governor was, together with officials of the Avocado Society of Kenya, invited to attend the global congress.

The delegation is expected to learn about new and more productive markets, accessing the most recent research and academic papers from international studies and use the opportunity as a networking platform since they will be meeting other key players in the avocado sector.

PRESENTATIONS

The congress will host workshops and presentations of scientific research that promotes innovative methods for specialised audiences.

It is normally hosted by an avocado-growing country every four years.

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A range of topics including phytosanitary issues, genetic resources, and growing practices will be featuring in this year’s event.

Mr Wa Iria, who is representing Kenya at the conference, said he intends to use the platform to campaign and look for potential market for the avocado fruit, especially after the country gained the greenlight to enter into the Chinese market.

CHINESE MARKET

“This is great news to the avocado industry especially after Kenya has gained the green light to enter the Chinese market. I will campaign for Kenya to become part of Asia Fruit Logistica and China Fruit Logistica to get more market for our fruits given that Kenyan farmers have embraced avocado farming,” he told the Nation.

The Colombian avocado industry has exploded into the global stage in recent years, registering rapid growth and an average annual increase of more than 10 percent in planted hectares with the governor hoping to learn more about the venture and introduce the same to Kenyan farmers.

Meanwhile, Colombian avocado exports grew by 51 percent in 2017 year-on-year, making it the world's 12th largest exporter.

Earlier this year, Mr Wa Iria received the Avocado Person of the Year award from the Avocado Society of Kenya.

He vowed to push for the marketing of the fruit to the rest of the world.

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