NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s horticultural exports in 2018 is expected
to decline as compared to last year due to the ongoing
fertilizer shortage, the industry said on Friday.
coordinator of Kenya Horticulture Council (KHC), told Xinhua in
Nairobi that implementation of new rules for the inspection of
fertilizer imports have delayed the critical input from reaching
“Unless measures are
taken, we expect flower, vegetables and fruits exports to
decline in 2018 due to unavailability of fertilizers for the
cash crops,” Ngige said.
The East African
nation exported horticulture worth some 1.15 billion U.S.
dollars in 2017, the bulk of which was cut-flowers.
Ngige said Kenya
exported about 159,000 tonnes of flowers in 2017 while fruits
and vegetables were approximately 57,000 tonnes and 87,000
In May, Kenya
launched a multi-agency taskforce to combat counterfeits goods
in the market by re-inspecting all goods at the country’s points
Ngige said that the
industry supports the government efforts to prevent imports of
fake products but the exercise should be done in a manner that
is sensitive to needs of the horticulture sector that depends on
indicates that Kenya consumes approximately 450,000 tonnes of
fertilizer annually, the bulk of which is imported.
According to KHC,
the sector also faces growing threat of climate change which
affects the availability of water throughout the year.
Ngige added the most
common flowers exported are roses, while French beans, herbs and
capsicums accounted for the bulk of horticultural crops sold
She noted that the
industry is keen to diversify its export markets to reduce
overdependence on the European Union consumers.
“We hope that the
operationalization of the direct flights between Kenya and the
U.S. will boost exports to North America,” she said.
She noted that
currently most horticulture sales to the U.S. go through the
Netherlands flower auction which makes them less competitive.
The KHC also hopes to begin horticulture sales to the huge