Kenya’s horticulture market secure amid Brexit plans

There will be no market disruption for Kenya’s horticultural products because of Brexit, Dr Chris Kiptoo, Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Trade, said during the release of the horticulture sector report 2018 performance results in Nairobi.

His sentiments come hot on the heels of the industry data that showed Kenya’s total
horticulture export increased by 33 percent last year.

According to the statistics released by the Kenya Flower Council, Fresh Produce Exporters
Association of Kenya and Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya, the country earned 153.68 billion shillings ($1.53 billion).

Dr. Kiptoo noted that the Government was in discussion with the United Kingdom to ensure
that the sector is not adversely affected, irrespective of the outcome of the process.

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He added that the government was working towards expanding the export market for
horticultural products in addition to the primary European markets.

“The government is exploring markets like China to complement the traditional European
market. A delegation from China will be in the country soon to evaluate the avocado market and we are optimistic our farmers will soon start exporting to the Chinese market”, he added.
Mr. Hosea Machuki, chief executive officer of Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya
said the sector has remained resilient amid various challenges, both fiscal and operational.

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The sector has seen marked resilience, growth and a huge potential which has enabled it to weather various challenges such as the Brexit shock and fertilizer shortages”, said Mr. Machuki
The three industry bodies said the cut-flower export still remains the largest earner,
contributing more than 70 percent of the total fresh produce earnings.

Clement Tulezi, chief executive officer of the Kenya Flower Council said earnings for the sector are expected to rise by at least 4 percent this year.

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According to the report, flower exports contributed Ksh113.16 billion up from Ksh82.24 billion earned in 2017, representing 37.8 percent growth.

Fruits and vegetables earned Ksh12.83 billion and Ksh27.68 billion in 2018, up from Ksh9.0
billion and Ksh24.06 billion earned in 2017, respectively.

Kenya’s current account deficit narrowed to 5.1 percent in the 12 months to November 2018, compared to 6.5 percent in November 2017, the central bank said last month, thanks to a strong performance in the horticulture sector.

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