Kenya to host IFTEX 2018 in June

IFTEXInternational Flower Trade Expo (IFTEX) is all set to open in Nairobi, Kenya, from 6 – 8 June 2018, aiming to explore the country’s opportunities in horticultural sector

Kenya’s earnings from horticulture exports rose 12.8 per cent for the second year to register a US$130mn more earnings value to US$1.14bn from fruits, cut flowers and vegetables.

According to latest government data, cut flowers made a 16 per cent increase in value in 2017 to US$810mn from US$700mn in 2016. The sector contributed 1.44 per cent of the country’s GDP.

At the same time, the quantity of cut flowers went up from 133.65MT exported in 2016 to 159.96MT last year, according to the data.

Fruit exports made a 23 per cent growth in value from US$72mn in 2016 to US$89mn last year, shipping 59.94MT compared to 48.65 tonnes the year before.

Horticulture is a major foreign exchange earner alongside tea, remittances from Kenyans living abroad and tourism. Areas around Lake Naivasha and Bahati in Nakuru County, Limuru and Thika in Kiambu County are known for large-scale farming of flowers, vegetables and fruits for export, mainly to the EU markets.

Since 2012, the industry has faced challenges in the EU market as pesticide residues, and quarantined pests have cost billions in losses.

Last year, industry stakeholders launched the KS1758 Part Two standard for fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices to enable the horticulture sector to articulate specific sector concerns jointly.

The two standards bring all exporters and handlers under a standard practice and will be the basis on which export permits are issued in the coming years. This will eliminate the possibility of any rogue practice and lack of proper documentation that has in the past led to expensive interceptions at the market entry in the EU.

Organised by HPP Exhibitions, the IFTEX 2018 aims to gather all the industry stakeholders, government leaders, international buyers to discuss and explore opportunities to develop the horticultural sector in the country.

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