Horticulture earns Kenya US$3.04bn as export markets become lucrative

KENYA – Kenya earned US$3.04 billion on account of good prices in the export market for the 2017 year, a 41% increase from the previous year, according to the market data from the Horticulture Department.

This covers flowers, fruits and vegetables whose overall sales rose from US$2.15 billion in 2016 to US$3.04 billion last year while total value of horticultural produce exported in 2017 increased from US$1.01 billion in 2016 to US$1.14 billion last year.

Business Daily reported the increase in the export market was as a result of compliance with the export market requirements by majority exporters especially to the European Union.

2016 horticultural year saw increased value in flowers, fruits and vegetables by 13%, 12% and 12% respectively as compared to 2015, bypassing challenges in the market including a hard economic time as a result of prolonged electoral atmosphere in 2017.

“The value of domestic horticulture production has been growing over the years as it is evidenced by the figures,” said Okesegere Ojepat, chief executive officer of Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC) of Kenya.

Ojepat was speaking during the launch of Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC) of Kenya which rebranded from Kenya Association of Fruits and Vegetable Exporters.

“The rebranding now broadens our mandate to cover more areas particularly domestic market which has never been well coordinated, offers us capacity to engage with more stakeholders, and enables us to extend our membership and grow the sector,” he added.

Fruits and vegetables earned US$89.95 million and US$239.87m, on export volumes of 56,945 tonnes and 87,240 tonnes respectively in 2017.

In 2016, horticultural exports were deemed Kenya’s latest foreign exchange earner brought by 12% increase to 1.01 billion in vegetable, flower and fruit exports

Kenya teamed up with Rwanda to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement that reinstated Kenya on the list of duty and quota free exporters to the European Union.

As a result of the trade pact that raised business confidence by importers, vegetables recorded 12% rise in sales after export volumes increased by 10,000 units to 78,791 tonnes over the period while fruit volumes increased by about 2,500 units.

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