Horticulture earnings declined by 40 per cent to Sh48.4 billion from Sh80.7 billion In the first half of the year on the back of reduced returns from flowers, vegetables and fruits.
The Horticulture Directorate says the value of export produce was pulled down by a decline in volume and lower quality avocado in the first quarter of the year as the exported products were not mature enough. This led to low value realised and more rejections of the produce in the world market.
“There was a huge decline in volumes in the review period that pulled down the overall earnings. We also had issues with our avocado,” said the directorate.
The data shows that the volume of fruits dropped from 82.1 million kilogrammes to 44 million kilos in the review period. The directorate had projected that the export earnings for horticulture would pick from April onwards after the ban on harvesting of avocado was lifted in March. However, that is yet to reflect in the latest figures.
Earnings from flowers dropped from Sh53.2 billion last year to Sh37.3 billion in the half period under review, while fruits raked in Sh5.6 billion from Sh12 billion previously. Returns from vegetables fell by Sh10.1 billion to 5.4 billion.
Agriculture and Food Authority — the crops regulator said it is working at diversifying the market as it seeks to cut reliance on the European market which it says could hurt Kenya’s produce if the market becomes volatile.