Kenya is currently the leading supplier of basil, an aromatic herb, to Europe which sources 80% of its supplies for the fresh produce market, from Kenya. This is after hot temperature conditions hit production of the crop in Italy, Europe’s main supply point. Basil, which is popularly used in Kenya as salad and to add flavour to local delicacies, the shiny herb is commonly used worldwide for stomach problems such as spasms, loss of appetite, intestinal gas, diarrhoea, constipation, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
The produce arrives in Europe from Kenya via chilled air cargo, so deliveries are guaranteed within half a day.
Kenya’s Basil faces competition from Italy, Israel, and Morocco
Other competitors to the East African nation include countries such as Israel, which delivers this produce at a higher price to Europe, and Morocco, whose produce is cheaper though the quality is not as good as that from Kenya.
This herb grows best in cooler parts of the East African nation in organic or greenhouse farms and is usually ready for the market a month and a half after transplanting.
Basil exporters from the East African nation are taking advantage of the low supply and high demand being experienced in Europe’s fresh produce market.
Italy, which is the leading supplier of several basil varieties, has been hit by erratic weather patterns which disrupted sowing operations as well as harvesting with high temperatures slowing production, especially in greenhouses.