Kephis, the government parastatal responsible for the quality of agricultural inputs and produce, has lately introduced new requirements to guide avocado farmers and traders interested in growing and exporting the fruit.

The requirements, explains Kephis, are aimed at guarding the lucrative avocado export market. Below are guiding requirements for fresh avocado fruits export to South Africa;

• Fruits for export to South Africa shall originate from production sites, pack houses and storage facilities approved and registered annually by Kephis.

• Monitoring of pests shall be conducted by Kephis regularly in the production sites destined for export to South Africa

• Fruit fly monitoring shall be initiated at least three months before harvesting or when the crop for South Africa starts to flower and this shall continue through the completion of harvest.

• The owner of the production site will also be required to maintain the data and submit a copy to Kephis on quarterly basis and Kephis will regularly monitor to ensure the date is maintained.

• Culled and fallen fruits will be buried, destroyed or removed away from the production sites at least twice a week by producers.

• The registered pack houses and storage facilities shall be maintained clean, free from pests, soil and plant debris, safeguarded and equipped to avoid fruit contamination.

• Kephis shall assure that pack houses have a defined traceability system to approve farms for export to South Africa by maintaining the integrity of lots.

• Exporters to apply for a South African import permit before export. Normal port of exit inspections to be undertaken by Kephis for every consignment before export.

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