According to the 2018 Quarterly Balance of Payments (QBOP), tea remained the top earner at Sh32.6 billion followed by horticulture at Sh31 billion during the July-September 2018 period.
The tea earnings, however, fell by 10.1 per cent in the period owing to falling international prices attributed to higher global production.
Black tea sold for Sh264.09 a kilogramme compared to 2017’s Sh318.84, solely blamed on higher production with the country producing an extra 12.3 per cent in the third quarter to 115,200 tonnes from 102,600 tonnes during the comparable 2017 period.
The report by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics showed coffee exports rose 8.5 per cent to hit 10,200 tonnes and raked in Sh5.1 billion from 9,400 tonnes in 2017 worth Sh8.3 billion.
A similarly bumper harvest was also witnessed in the Horticulture industry, which has enjoyed major inroads in new markets in Asia and Europe after it recorded a 15.7 per cent rise to Sh31 billion from Sh26.8 billion.
A sharp rise in fruit exports by 67 per cent overshadowed the decline in flowers and vegetable exports.
Milk deliveries to processors rose by 4.6 per cent to stand at 160.4 million litres up from 153.3 million litres reported during the third quarter of 2017, mainly supported by sufficient rains that ensured an adequate supply of pastures.
Kenya is targeting to grow exports by 25 per cent annually to Sh1.8 trillion in 2022 under an ambitious Integrated National Exports Development and Promotion Strategy.
To achieve this end, the country has prioritised value-addition for tea, coffee and fruits targeting China and India as top priority markets.