Ukrainian apple is becoming a trend in sub-Saharan Africa
In the 2020/21 season, Ukraine increased apple exports to sub-Saharan Africa six times and increased exports to a record 630 tons.
And although this is less than 4% of total apple exports, but the trend itself can not but rejoice, says Andrew Yarmak, an economist in the investment department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), reports EastFruit.
"It should also be noted that if in the 2020/21 season Ukrainian apples were supplied to only two countries in the region, last season the geography of exports included nine countries. This means that the apple from Ukraine is becoming increasingly popular in sub-Saharan Africa. In Africa, a nascent trend is emerging among fruit importers to import apples from Ukraine and interest in Ukrainian products is growing. Our colleagues from the Ukrainian Fruit and Vegetable Association confirm that there are more and more requests for apples from the countries of this region, ”said the expert.
It is noted that in the first export month of the 2021/22 season, Ukraine exported apples to two African countries. Although before that, apple exports to Africa had never started in September. On the other hand, interest in apple exports to Africa from Ukraine may decline significantly after Belarus sharply increased its purchases of these fruits in Ukraine due to the embargo on food imports from the EU.
"A significant advantage of apple exports to sub-Saharan Africa is the relatively high price. Moreover, suppliers mostly receive prepayments for their products from African importers, which also reduces export risks. At the same time, Ukrainian exporters need to take into account the long supply of apples, which often exceeds 40 days at sea, and ensure its safety. And for this, the apple must be of perfect quality. It must also be fairly solid and properly treated with an ethylene inhibitor, as it is necessary to sell apples in Africa to end consumers in very hot climates without any cooling. Therefore, the apple should retain its properties for as long as possible, ”explains Yarmak.
In the new season, Kenya has already joined the importers of Ukrainian apples from sub-Saharan Africa, where the products were not previously supplied. In previous seasons, the key African importers of Ukrainian apples were Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Maldives, Sudan, Djibouti, Gambia and Somalia.