Kenya’s Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Trade Chris Kiptoo told a press conference yesterday that Brexit will not disrupt the country’s horticulture exports to the UK.
Industry data showed Kenya’s total horticulture exports jumped 33 per cent last year with the United Kingdom, Holland, Germany and France being the majority of the markets.
According to three industry bodies, horticulture exports last year earned Kenya Ksh153.68 billion (£1.2 billion) from Ksh117 billion the year before, with Clement Tulezi, chief executive officer of the Kenya Flower Council, predicting earnings for the sector are expected to rise by at least 4 per cent in 2019.
Fresh produce exports are a key source of hard currency for the East African economy, along with tourism, cash sent home by Kenyans abroad and coffee and tea exports.
In a joint statement, Kenya Flower Council, the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya and the Fresh Produce Consortium revealed that flowers generated Ksh113.17 billion shillings last year, compared with 82.25 billion shillings in 2017. Vegetables also rose from Ksh24.06 billion in 2017 to 27.69 billion shillings last year, with fruits fetching Ksh12.83 billion against Ksh 9 billion shillings in 2017.
Dr Kiptoo also said that Kenya needs to aggressively increase the export agenda, while matching it to the Big 4 Agenda. “This will create jobs and support Kenyan families. National Export Strategy is very ambitious, created after collaboration with the Private stakeholders,” he added.
He also attested that Kenya’s ambition to raise exports by 25 per cent by 2022 is a realistic target.