JAMAICA — A Kenyan fruit market is set to open next year in Australia, after the first of a two-year trial of its fruit market in the country, with the aim of offering a “whole market of quality” fruit, said Shatzi Fruit Market owner Shatzarimu Shatzers.
The Kenyan market opened in the southern town of Dili, on the Kenyan-Tanzania border, in January, and Shatzos hopes it will soon open a second branch in Melbourne.
The fruit market’s goal is to provide “quality and affordable” fruit for local people, Shatzman said.
“We want to give the community a whole market of fruit,” he said.
“We are not trying to make a profit.
It’s our passion to give them a taste of what the fruits are like in Kenya.
It was our dream and we are ready to take it forward.”
The fruit market has received support from the Kenya Tourism Board, which is building the site in conjunction with the government of Kenya.
The first of two years of the trial, which will run from July 1 to Sept. 1, will see about 30 vendors from the local community participating, along with a Kenyan delegation.
Kenya’s government has previously opened fruit markets in countries including Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway and Sweden.
The Kenya Tourism board, which was founded in 2011, hopes to open the second branch of the Shatzzer Fruit market in Melbourne by the end of 2018.
Kenya has been struggling with low demand for its traditional fruit, and the Kenyan government has pledged to spend $4 billion on infrastructure, including the construction of an international airport and road, and other investment to boost the country’s agricultural sector.
According to the Kenyan Department of Tourism, Kenya ranks 136 out of 180 countries for the number of fruit trees, fruit farms and fruit trees planted per capita.
Kenya also ranks 138 out of 179 countries for total fruit production, the highest ranking of any African nation.
Despite the challenges, Shatsos hope the trial will be a success, given the high demand for fruit.
It’s really exciting to be a part of this project and we want to make this project a success,” he told ABC News’ ABC Morning Report.
Dili residents have grown accustomed to seeing fruit vendors, which they have long considered the mainstay of their local market, for the past 10 years.
Farmers sell their fruit in the market and the vendors sell their produce to local markets and restaurants, often at lower prices than the supermarkets and shops that are also present.
Shatsers hope the Kenyan market will offer a better alternative for locals.
While there are some drawbacks to the fruit market system, he said it offers more variety than other markets in the area.
For the next five years, the fruit farm will remain in the town of Shatzu, he added.