IFTEX and Kenya horticulture at a glance

IFTEX and Kenya horticulture at a glance

For the seventh year in a row, Kenya is hosting the International Flower Trade Expo (IFTEX). The fair opened

doors in 2012 and since then it has experienced a steady rise of visitors and exhibitors from all over the world. This year IFTEX is extending its products profile by adding fresh produce through the launch of Fresh Produce Africa (FPA); exhibition that will be running simultaneously.

According to the organisers, flowers are more and more being sold through big retail chain stores, supermarkets and other mass market channels where also fresh produce are being sold; therefore exhibitors and visitors will benefit when the two events are held together.

Most buyers gather in this event every year to purchase the superb quality flowers from Kenya. Kenya’s location astride the Equator and varying climatic conditions enables the country  to grow flowers that compete with those from top producing countries in the world such as Ecuador and Colombia.

Kenya has a mix of low and high altitudes enabling production of the same varieties in different region, giving different characteristics for the diverse markets. For instance, same variety grown in Naivasha, Thika, Nakuru and Nanyuki gives three different shades of the same flower going into different markets, and this is unique to Kenya.

The Country  for one last decade has continued to experience growth in its share of the global flower trade in the last decade, with Statistics showing that Kenya is contributing over 35% of the world flowers. A glance at Kenya’s horticultural sector shows a sustained growth of between 10 and 20% over the last 10 years.

According to latest government data, a growth rate of 12.8% was realized in 2017 to register a KES13 billion more earnings in value to KES 115.32 billion from fruits, cut flowers and vegetables, from KES101.51 billion earned in 2016. Cut flowers made a 16 per cent increase in value to KES82.24 billion from Sh70.82 billion in 2016. At the same time, quantity of cut flowers went up from 133.65 metric tons exported in 2016 to 159.96 metric tons. Fruit exports made a 23 per cent growth in value from KES7.31 billion in 2016 to KES9 billion last years, shipping 59.94 metric tons compared to 48.65 tones the year before. Vegetables registered the smallest marginal increase of two per cent in value of exports to KES24 billion, up from KES23.3 billion in 2016.

Horticulture contributes immensely to the economic growth of Kenya. Provides direct and indirect employment to over 7 Million Kenyans and contributes to 17% of the GDP. Floriculture contributes between 65-70% of the total horticulture, contributing 1.44 per cent of the country’s GDP.

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