Kenya’s earnings from fresh produce exports in 2018 jumped to Ksh153.68 billion, a 33 per cent increase over 2017 earnings, according to the statistics released by the Kenya Flower Council (KFC), Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK), and Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya (FPCK).
Unveiling the statistics, 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.
Flower exports contributed Sh113.16 billion up from Sh82.24 billion earned in 2017, representing 37.8 per cent growth.
Fruits and vegetables earned Sh12.83 billion and Sh. 27.68 billion in 2018, up from Sh9.0 billion and Sh. 24.06 billion earned in 2017, respectively.
The cut-flower export still remains the largest earner, contributing 74 per cent of the total fresh produce annual earnings, fruits at 8% and vegetables at 18%.
In 2018, the horticulture industry was hit hard by acute shortage of soluble fertilizer resulting from stringent and lengthy clearance process by the Kenya Bureau of Standard at the port of entry. The sector was also hit by the imposition of 16% VAT on pest control products and VAT return estimated to be Sh3.5bn, increasing the cost of production, resulting in non-competitiveness in the international markets.
Speaking at the same event, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Trade Dr. Chris Kiptoo said the Government was working toward expanding the export market for the horticultural products besides the primary European markets.
Dr. Kiptoo also noted that the Government was in discussion with the United Kingdon on the issue of Brexit to ensure that the sector is not adversely affected, irrespective of the outcome of the process.
Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya (FPC Kenya) is the industry’s leading trade association committed to driving the growth and success of produce companies and their partners. FPC Kenya represents the interests of member companies (including family-owned, private and publicly traded businesses as well as local, regional and international companies) throughout the fresh produce supply chain.
The association was founded in 2013 as then Kenya Association of Fruits and Vegetable Exporters (KEFE) to represent the produce industry, and recently took the name Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya in response to the need to address challenges faced by players in the domestic market space. FPC Kenya will continue the mission of promoting the growth and success of produce companies and their partners, with greater focus on the domestic market.
The Council being the nerve center of flower growers in Kenya is robustly in the forefront lobbying policy and decision makers at national and county levels, to adequately support the growth of the industry and to enact appropriate legislation conducive for flower production and export. It also supports efforts in the development of trade between Kenya and the different markets across the globe. This is in bid to create a conducive business environment and promote global competitiveness of Kenyan flowers.
To build a strong Kenyan flower brand at the market place, Kenya Flower Council continuously engages in promotional events locally and internationally, with support of Kenya’s foreign missions and relevant government ministries and departments. This leverage the brand, heritage and reputation established for the Kenya flower.
About The Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK)
The Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK) is Kenya’s premier trade Association representing growers, exporters and service providers in the horticulture industry.
Formed in 1975, when export horticulture was in its infancy, the Association has grown to become Kenya’s foremost sectoral trade association. Members of the Association are involved in growing and/or exporting fresh cut-flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
FPEAK provides a focal and coordination point for the horticulture export industry. We support growers and exporters by providing technical and marketing information and training, act as an information centre, and run active lobbying and advocacy programmes to enhance the sector’s competitiveness.