Kenyan horticulture earnings grow despite strong shilling

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Exporting fruits, vegetables, nuts, and cut flowers

Earnings from Kenya’s exports of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and cut flowers saw a 15.2 percent increase from January to April, despite the Kenyan shilling’s appreciation. This growth is attributed to higher export volumes as Kenya aims for duty-free access to the European Union (EU) and the United States, alongside expanding into the Asian markets, notably China and India.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) reported that horticulture earnings rose to $363 million over the four months, up from $315 million in the previous year. “Export earnings from horticulture have increased with the higher export quantities,” the CBK noted. The appreciation of the Kenyan shilling against the US dollar did not deter the increase in earnings, which are typically paid in US dollars, thus affecting the conversion rate to Kenyan shillings. Export volumes surged by 57 percent, reaching 246,000 tons.

Vegetables led in performance with a 38 percent increase in earnings, supported by a 73 percent rise in export volumes. Fruits and nuts saw a 22 percent earnings increase, with export volumes climbing to 83,000 tons. Despite a 2 percent drop in export volumes, cut flowers earnings grew by 5 percent, indicating higher market prices. The Netherlands remains the primary market for Kenya’s horticultural exports, especially cut flowers, followed by the UK, France, the UAE, and Germany. Emerging markets for Kenya’s fresh produce, such as avocados, include China, India, and Kazakhstan.


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