Horticulture earned Kenya $1.15 billion last year to become the country’s third top foreign exchange earner

Horticulture earned Kenya $1.15 billion last year to become the country’s third top foreign exchange earner
  • Horticulture earnings grew by 33 per cent from Sh115 billion ($1.15 billion) in 2017 to hit Sh153 billion ($1.53 billion) in 2018.
  • High demand and good international prices were cited as some of the propellers of the ‘bumpy harvest’ .
  • Flowers made the bulk of the earnings, bringing in a total of Sh113 billion ($1.13 billion).

Horticulture is now Kenya’s third top foreign exchange earner.

The industry defied several odds resulting from delays in supply of fertiliser to register one of the most impressive performances.

Horticulture earnings grew by 33 per cent from Sh115 billion ($1.15 billion) in 2017 to hit Sh153 billion ($1.53 billion) in 2018, effectively becoming number three in its contribution to Kenya's income after diaspora remittance and tourism.

Kenya’s diaspora remittances last year rose 39.54 percent in 12 months through October to hit $2.61 billion (Sh267.75 billion) compared with $1.87 billion (Sh191.88 billion) a year earlier, according to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

The gods finally smiled on Kenya in 2018 after a record number of tourists visited the country.

High demand and good international prices were cited as some of the propellers of the ‘bumpy harvest’ .

Flowers made the bulk of the earnings, bringing in a total of Sh113 billion ($1.13 billion) with fruits coming in second after raking in Sh27 million ($270 million) followed by vegetables at Sh12 billion ($120 million).

Releasing the results on Tuesday, Kenya Flower Council (KFC) chief executive officer Clement Tulezi said the performance shows the potential that the country has if the government gives them the required support.

"The flower industry overcame the challenge of fertiliser shortage to record good performance," said Mr Tulezi.

The CEO however, said a lot of challenges still remains despite having efforts of KFC to reach out to the government to address the outstanding issues such as double taxation and the high cost of doing business.

Trade Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo promised the government is doing everything in its capacity to address the challenges.

"From the results that we have just seen it is evident that the horticulture industry is key to our economy and we need to give it all the required support," said Dr Kiptoo.

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