Kenya horticulture FY 2011 earnings up 18%
20 February 2012, 17:01
NAIROBI Feb 20 (Reuters) - Kenya's earnings from
horticulture exports rose 18 percent last year, despite a
marginal dip in volumes, buoyed by a favourable exchange rate
and strong prices for vegetables and fruits, an industry body
said on Monday.
Horticulture is the country's leading source of foreign
exchange, alongside tourism, remittances from Kenyans living
abroad and tea exports.
East Africa's largest economy earned 91.6 billion shillings
($1.10 billion) from the sale of flower, fruit, vegetable and
nut exports in 2011, data from the USAID Kenya Horticulture
Competitiveness Project (KHCP) showed.
It said flowers, which make up the bulk of the earnings for
the industry, fetched 44.51 billion shillings from 35.56 billion
shillings in 2010.
The body, which aims to boost employment in the industry,
said there was scope for further growth in 2012, especially in
flower production, which makes up the bulk of the sector's
"With only months remaining to the general elections, the
industry is facing major challenges emanating from concern over
the economic status of countries in the global market," the body
said in a statement.
Kenya exports most its horticultural produce to Europe,
whose sovereign debt crisis has driven many countries to the
brink of recession at the start of 2012.
An industry association, Kenya Flower Council (KFC) early
this month projected a rise in earnings from last year thanks to
a favourable exchange rate for most of the year, despite earlier
warnings they could fall below target due to the euro zone
The Kenyan shilling weakened to an all-time low of 107
shillings to the dollar, but has since regained ground to
83.00/20 where it is trading on Monday, resulting from a series
of central bank hikes in key lending rate.
The USAID Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness Project said
the country exported 382,638 tonnes of horticulture in 2011
compared with 403,026 tonnes in 2010.