The value of horticulture production rose 41 per cent last year compared with 2017 on account of good prices. Market data from the Horticulture Department indicates overall sales rose from Sh216 billion in 2016 to Sh305 billion last year.
The total value of horticultural produce exported in 2017 increased from Sh101.5 billion in 2016 to Sh115 billion last year.
“The value of domestic horticulture production has been growing over the years as it is evidenced by the figures,” says Okesegere Ojepat, chief executive officer of Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC) of Kenya.
In 2016 the value of flowers, fruits and vegetables increased by 13, 12 and 12 per cent respectively as compared to 2015.
Mr Ojepat said the fresh produce sector was resilient to economic storm witnessed in 2017 as a result of prolonged election to register good performance.
The cut-flower export still remains the largest earner, contributing over 70 per cent of the total fresh produce annual earnings.
Flower exports contributed Sh82.24 billion, up from Sh70.83 billion earned in 2016, representing 11.6 per cent growth, on export volume of 159,961 tonnes.
Fruits and vegetables earned Sh9 billion and Sh24 billion, on export volumes of 56,945 tonnes and 87,240 tonnes respectively in 2017.
Mr Ojepat was speaking at the official launch of FPC Kenya, which rebranded from Kenya Association of Fruits and Vegetable Exporters.
“The rebranding now broadens our mandate to cover more areas particularly domestic market which has never been well coordinated, offers us capacity to engage with more stakeholders, and enables us to extend our membership and grow the sector,” he said.