Kenya to lose Sh20 billion in horticulture earnings on biting drought – Business Daily
Head of Horticulture Directorate Benjamin Tito. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Kenya is projected to lose at least Sh20 billion in horticulture earnings this year on the back of drought, lower production and the post-harvest losses brought about by poor handling.
Head of Horticulture Directorate Benjamin Tito said the earnings this year would drop to Sh130 billion compared to last year when Kenya recorded an impressive Sh150 billion.
The earnings will also be weighed down by the interception of Kenya’s produce due to pesticides exceeding the required limits.
“This year we could be having a shortfall of Sh20 billion in earnings as a result of a number of factors, which include drought,” said Mr Tito.
This comes even as Kenya loses an estimated 40 percent of the produce to post-harvest losses, according to the European Union (EU) chief technical officer for Market Access Upgrade Programme (Markup) Stefano Sedola.
Speaking at the vegetables and herbs conference in Nairobi, Mr Sedola said they are working with the State agencies and private sector to help farmers curb the losses and increase Kenya’s share of foreign earnings from the European Union.
Mr Sedola said the Markup programme has been instrumental in helping exporters and farmers to monitor high levels of pesticides and residue in their produce through the improvement of testing services.
“We want Kenya to export more and one of the things that we are doing is to address the issues of interception on Kenyan produce, which we are doing through the Markup programme.
Kenya, according to the regulator, has recorded at least 62 interceptions on exports to Germany, France, Netherlands in the last couple of months, putting the country’s exports at risk of being banned.
The EU-EAC Market Access Upgrade Programme is a €35 million regional development initiative funded by the European Union as part of the 11th European Development Fund, which supports small and medium-sized enterprises in Kenya and other EAC countries.
Mr Sedola said the programme would help Kenya to increase its share of the export market from the current for percent of the total production.
It aims at increasing exports of agribusiness and horticultural products and promoting regional integration and access to the European market across 12 counties of implementation in Kenya.
→ [email protected]