Kenya must find new export destinations for products to stem fierce competition by newcomers leading to price erosion.
Kenya Flower Council (KFC) chief executive Clement Tulezi said Kenya must deepen its forays across Asian and further East to stem loss of its market niche to newcomers.
“We welcome the China flower hub in Hunan as it is a huge market that could ignite new investments in flower farming, helping to create employment as well as new revenues for national and county governments,” he said.
Mr Tulezi spoke as it emerged that flower volumes in the first six months of 2019 rose 8.8 percent to 91,256 metric tonnes, earning Sh55.2 billion compared to 2018 half year when Kenya exported 83,908 metric tonnes for Sh61.1 billion.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics’ (KNBS) latest leading economic indicator, 50,346 metric tonnes of fruits exported in the first half of 2019 earned Sh7.4 billion, a 9.19 percent rise in production compared to 2018 half year exports of 46,109 metric tonnes valued at Sh7.3 billion.
The vegetable segment witnessed 20.9 percent rise in production to stand at 38,363 metric tonnes worth Sh13.9 billion compared to 31,741 metric tonnes valued at Sh12.6 billion during a similar period in the first half of 2018.
Kenya has held several meetings with Chinese authorities on impending exports of various products, notably flowers via a distribution centre in Hunan, China in partnership with a Chinese firm Funfree International Trade Company
The proposed distribution centre will see cut flower producers airlift produce to Hunan as opposed to accessing Chinese markets through an auction in Amsterdam.