Serrari Group

Kenya has achieved a significant milestone in its trade relationship with China, successfully exporting its first 52-tonne batch of anchovies, commonly referred to as ‘omena,’ to the Chinese market. This achievement follows a bilateral agreement inked between the two nations early last year.

China’s Director-General of the Department of African Affairs, Wu Peng, expressed his satisfaction with this development, emphasizing the mutual benefits of the partnership. Wu Peng stated, “The recent delivery of the initial 52-tonne shipment of Kenyan omena to China is a noteworthy event. Further shipments are in the pipeline, and the FOCAC #Green Channel for African agricultural exports to China is proving beneficial for both African and Chinese citizens.”

This collaboration commenced in June, with an initial shipment of 315 kilograms of anchovies reaching Hunan, China. Kenyan officials have applauded this substantial consignment for its positive impact on the local blue economy.

The Jinzai Food Group, a Hunan based snack company, played a crucial role in this trade deal. Not only did they procure Kenyan anchovies, but they also established a processing facility in Kenya responsible for drying and packaging the anchovies before export.

Changsha Customs has proactively embraced China’s “green channel” initiative for agricultural and food imports from Africa, implementing measures to streamline customs clearance processes. These efforts are aimed at fostering smoother trade relations between the two nations.

The debut of Kenyan wild anchovy products at the third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo in late June marked a significant turning point in China’s efforts to import high-quality African food and agricultural products. This initiative seeks to expand consumer choices in China and enhance trade between the two regions.

Huawen Food, a local Kenyan subsidiary of the Jinzai Food Group, handled the shipment. Operating from Kwale on Kenya’s coast, the company relies on local fishermen to supply their processing plant with ‘omena’ for drying and packaging.

Anchovies, known for their intense and pungent flavor, have a unique taste that is cherished in Kenya, where they are traditionally served with staples like ‘ugali’ and greens. Now, this export venture is poised to become a lucrative opportunity for Kenya’s fishing sector, with Liu Zhiyong, Managing Director of Huawen Food, noting that the Kenyan operation promises high-profit margins.

In China, anchovies find their place in a variety of dishes, from stir-fries and street snacks to salads and heartier meals like anchovy fried rice. Food enthusiasts appreciate anchovies for their distinctive “umami” flavor, elevating the dining experience beyond the usual spectrum of salty, sweet, sour, and bitter tastes.

This successful export of ‘omena’ to China strengthens economic ties and facilitates cultural exchange through the sharing of culinary delights, making it a mutually beneficial endeavor for both nations.

Photo Source: Google

By: Montel Kamau
Serrari Financial Analyst
11th September, 2023

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