Horticultural Earnings rise By 33 Percent
Horticulture sectors’ 33 percent growth in the year 2018 saw the sector hit 153 billion from the Sh115 billion recorded in 2017.
The significant rise was attributed to the high demand and good international prices in the period.
However, diaspora remittance topped in the list after recording Sh272 billion and tourism followed with a record of Sh157 billion.
Vegetable earnings came fourth after Horticulture with a total of Sh27 billion and lastly, was the fruits raking in Sh12 billion
Kenya Flower Council (KFC) chief executive Clement Tulezi applauded the performance adding that it indicates that the country has potential urging the government to consider addressing the issue on double taxation and the high cost of doing business.
“The industry overcame many challenges such as high energy costs and trade and phytosanitary restrictions in several potential markets,” he said.
Trade Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo who came to the governments’ defense insisted that the government was already addressing the issues.
“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,” he said.
The principal Secretary also added that the government was working on expanding the market.
“The government is exploring new markets like China to complement the traditional European market.
“The US market is also key for us following the commissioning of direct flights between Kenya and the US,” he said.
Europe is currently the biggest horticultural consumer making 40 percent of all the exports from the country. Some of the challenges faced by the market include the 16 percent VAT imposed on pest control products and the shortage of fertilizers.