In Machakos, south of Nairobi, growers seeking to export their produce like avocados and mangoes, store them there before agents collect to sell them in international markets that include Europe and Asia. The cold storage facility is one among dozens that are coming up in the East African nation, particularly in areas where export crops are grown.
At the facility, vegetables, tomatoes and avocados, among other fresh produce, are stored in the facility before they are released to both local and international markets.
Ernest Muthomi, chief executive of Avocado Society of Kenya, observed that many Kenyan farmers growing crops for export have increasingly embraced the facilities and pack houses as demanded by the international market. “For years, avocado exporters have faced many challenges due to lack of storage facilities. But a lot of farmers have embraced change and are now using cold storage services,” he said.
For the Chinese market, Kenyan farmers are expected to freeze the fruit to -30oCelsius after peeling off the skin. And the fruit should then be chilled further to -18oCelsius while being exported to the Asian nation. Without storage facilities, many Kenyan farmers have been unable to meet these export conditions thus failing to capture the Asian nation’s market.