Horticulture is the third largest foreign exchange earner and has undergone a transformation over the last 50 years garnering around 150 billion annually and contributes significantly to the Kenyan economy. The industry provides employment opportunities to about 350,000 directly and supports over six million livelihoods.
In Kenya, only 4% of all the horticultural produce (Fruits and Vegetables) is being exported while 96% is being consumed locally. Over 90% of all this produce consumed locally is being produced by small scale farmers. 95% of flowers grown locally are exported to various international markets. Recently, more opportunities have been created for our farmers to access international markets like the UAE, USA and more.
The key to the sector’s success can be attributed to the use of the latest technology, availability of technical training and easier access to markets. To enhance the quality of our produce, industry associations and other players have trained and supported producers and exporters on requirements for international accreditations on food safety and traceability.
Despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Horticulture sector performed fairly well. Export earnings for the year 2020 stood at Ksh.151Bn. Flowers earned the country Ksh 108B, Fruits Ksh 18B while vegetables earned Ksh 24B. However, a huge proportion of this earnings went to the payment of air freights. The growers and exporters did not realise the kind of profits they expected. There was a 5% improvement on earnings as compared to 2019.
However, the horticulture industry continues to experience a number of challenges:
The industry would like Government to support as follows:
For more information:
Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya
T: +254 (0)20 516 0333