Kenya: Omena Now a Popular Snack in China as Kenya Exports 52 Tonnes

13 September 2023

Nairobi — Kenya has exported its first consignment of anchovies, locally known as 'omena,' to China, marking a significant milestone in their bilateral relations.

This achievement follows the signing of a bilateral agreement between Nairobi and Beijing in January 2022.

A total of 52 tonnes of omena were shipped to China, strengthening the ties between the two nations. Wu Peng, the Director-General of the Department of African Affairs, MFA, in China, expressed his satisfaction with the development, highlighting the mutual benefits it brings to the citizens of both countries.

"Glad to see the first 52-tonne shipment of Kenyan omena exported to China has been delivered recently. More is on the way. The FOCAC #Green Channel for African agricultural exports to China is bringing tangible benefits to African and Chinese people," stated Wu Peng.

The import of Kenyan anchovies by China commenced in June, with an initial 315kg batch transported by air to Hunan. This marked the beginning of a promising trade relationship in this sector.

Kenyan officials have lauded this historic consignment for breathing fresh life into the local blue economy. Jinzai Food Group, a snack company based in Hunan, purchased the anchovies and has plans to transform them into a popular Hunan-flavored snack at its factory. The company has also established a processing, drying, and packaging facility in Kenya to prepare the anchovies before they reach the Chinese market.

Changsha Customs has been actively implementing China's initiative to create a "green channel" for agricultural and food imports from Africa, taking multiple measures to enhance customs clearance efficiency.

The debut of Kenyan wild anchovy products took place at the third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo in late June. This event signifies a significant step in China's efforts to encourage the import of high-quality African food and agricultural products, diversify domestic consumer choices, and foster increased trade between China and Africa.

The successful export of Omena to China serves as a testament to the growing partnership between Kenya and China, fostering economic cooperation and benefitting both nations.

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