Kenya’s horticulture earnings increased by 33 per cent from Sh78.2bn to Sh104bn during the first eight months of 2018 compared to a similar period last year.
The earnings have been buoyed by the rise in export of flowers from Sh55.6bn as from January to August 2017 to Sh76.9bn as from January to August 2018 according to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.
Vegetable earnings increased by 9.6 per cent to Sh16.9bn from 50,000 tonnes of produce sold while fruit exports on the other hand fetched Sh8.7bn from 57,000 tonnes exported.
The biggest gain was from fruits exports which recorded a 41 per cent increase from Sh7.2bn to Sh10.1bn boosted by a good rainfall period experienced this year and reduced political tension.
The export of horticultural products is expected to be enhanced by the launch of direct flights to the United States of America in October.
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Workers at a flower farm in Naivasha. Courtesy
Kenyan flower farmers are set to earn up to Sh10bn up from one billion shillings following the launch of direct flights to the United States of America set for October this year according to the Kenya Flower Council.
Currently, the European Union is the major export for Kenyan flowers accounting for 38 per cent of the total market share.
The USA accounts for 0.4 per cent of the existing market share.
The horticulture has been ranked as the fastest growing sub-sector in the agriculture industry in Kenya by the Ministry of Agriculture.