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Fruit, vegetables and flowers

Kenyan growers expect large EU vegetable orders despite lockdowns

Despite a fresh round of lockdowns in the key market to contain the Coronavirus, Kenyan growers forecast bigger orders of fruits and vegetables from Europe. Benjamin Tito, head of the Horticulture Directorate said the winter season in Europe has improved demand for Kenyan produce. “The vegetables and fruits are now in high demand in Europe and even with the second lockdown in some parts, we expect demand for our produce to remain high between now and February,” he said.

Europe traditionally takes up more than 60 percent of Kenya’s horticulture produce exports. September marks the beginning of high season for the country’s horticulture produce to European market.

A number of countries in Europe have imposed restrictive measures to curb the spread of the virus with others such as France and Germany imposing a countrywide lockdown. England has also been put on a 14-day lockdown.

The first wave of lockdown in March subjected Kenya’s growers to massive losses as the orders that had initially made had to be cancelled. Horticultural produce worth billions of shillings went to waste as the world’s largest auction in Amsterdam was shut during the pandemic. Kenya sells nearly all of its flowers through this auction.

The auction has, however, been fully opened following the easing of the Covid-19 containment measures, but it remains unclear whether it will be closed again following the tighter measures to curb a second wave spread in Holland.


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