Earnings from horticulture have risen 8.7 percent in the ten months to October 2020 amid the novel coronavirus boosted by high demand in Europe and Asia.
Data from the Horticulture Directorate indicates that revenue jumped to Sh126 billion from Sh116 billion during a similar period last year. However, export volumes fell by 6 percent to 263 million kilograms due to logistical challenges caused by the pandemic.
The global horticulture industry has gone through a painful phase this year where 70 percent of traders expected a significant drop in earnings rattled by slow demand due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The International Association of Horticultural Producers indicates the horticulture global market was valued at Sh28 trillion, but this year industry players expect the market value to drop.
The Horticulture Directorate says fruits export earnings rose to Sh17 billion from Sh11 billion during the period under review.
In April the world’s largest flower market in Amsterdam was closed in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19, this in turn impacted Kenyan flower exporters adversely as the Netherlands is Kenya’s biggest export market for flowers.
Flowers, which account for the largest portion of the income from horticulture exports fetched Sh90 billion as demand peaked following the reopening of many economies in Europe.
The directorate says it does not expect full-year results to change in the face of the second wave of the coronavirus that has led to the closure of some economies in key markets in Europe and the United States.
During the first ten months of this year, vegetable earnings fell to Sh19 billion from Sh21 billion. The directorate is worried the second wave is likely to lead to reduced demand, especially during the Christmas season.
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