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Increased competition drives Kenya's veg export value down 15%

The value of vegetables exported during the first half of the year declined by 14.97 per cent due to increased competition in Kenya’s traditional markets.

Data collated by the Agriculture and Food Authority shows export value for fresh vegetables dropped to Sh10.79 billion from Sh12.69 billion the same period last year. This was despite a 22.35 per cent increase in volumes produced to 42,810 tonnes from 34,997 tonnes.

“Although volumes have gone up, market prices became competitive during the period,” Horticulture Crops Directorate managing director Zakayo Magara told the Star. “Demand for vegetables did not meet the supply which depressed the prices, especially in our traditional markets.”

He said that the drop in value of fresh vegetables could be curbed by establishing vegetable processing plants which would provide a sustainable shelf-life and in turn increase market value.

“If we grew our processed produce, we would not be lamenting. Right now processed vegetables account for less than 30 per cent of the exports,” Magara said.

The AFA data shows that during the six-month period, Kenya’s horticulture export earnings increased by 11.42 per cent driven by higher gains from cut flowers and fruits.

1 Sh = 0.0097 USD

Publication date: 9/8/2017



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