The Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture plans to increase horticulture and fruit exports to the United States as it takes advantage of the Kenya Airways daily direct flights.
A group of Kenyan industry officials, led by Dr Esther Kimani, will meet the top management of the USDA and other agencies that oversee agriculture and trade. “Although we have been exporting our produce to the US, we want to increase the volumes and probably negotiate how we can start exporting those that we are not,” Kimani told press.
With such an opportunity, she said, it clearly gives them a chance to push for more and build a strong rapport with the relevant authorities in the US so that the country can gain economically.
According to businessdailyafrica.com, Dr Kimani, however, asked farmers to maintain the standards for export and improve the quality and quantity of their produce to avoid a ban.
Market data from the Horticulture Department indicates overall sales of horticulture produce rose from Sh216 billion in 2016 to Sh305 billion last year (€1.87 to 2.64 billion). This translates to a 41 per cent increase, propelled by good prices.
Good prices and an increase in export volumes was attributed to compliance with the export market requirements by majority of exporters, especially to the European Union. The cut-flower export still remains the largest earner, contributing over 70 per cent of the total fresh produce annual earnings.
Flower exports contributed Sh82.24 billion (€712 mln), up from Sh70.83 billion earned in 2016 (€613), representing 11.6 per cent growth, on export volume of 159,961 tonnes.
Fruits and vegetables earned Sh9 billion (€80 mln) and Sh24 billion (€207.9 mln), on export volumes of 56,945 tonnes and 87,240 tonnes respectively in 2017.