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Monday, 02 June 2014

Kenya horticulture exporter's position threatened

Kenya could lose its number one position as the world’s largest horticulture exporter because of tougher food safety measures. More than 40 batches of contaminated fresh products from Kenya were intercepted in the last four months according to the European Union’s Food Safety Commission.
There are claims that contaminated flowers and fruit are being smuggled into Europe, which could lead to a EU's increased safety measures towards products from Kenya.  
“Agriculture is the main stake of Kenya’s economy. Kenya’s agricultural products of horticulture, coffee and tea contribute about 25 per cent to the country’s GDP. A slowdown in that sector will massively impact the economy,” Moses Waireri, head of research at Sterling Capital, said.
Kenya will have to enhance its safety measures on horticulture exports in order to protect their position. A report stressed that flower importers are shifting their focus to India and Ethiopia for cheaper flowers.
“Kenya has to be proactive and diversify in other fields. Already horticulture and tourism contribute to about 40 per cent to the GDP. We [Kenya] need to speak to our partners and look for other strategies to boost our economy,” said Waireri.
The coffee and tea industries are also in difficulties as the international market has seen Kenya’s total earnings from exports decline.
“All was expected [the decline of coffee and tea]. The International Monetary Fund report’s said that agricultural products will drop in the global market,” Waireri added.

Source: CNBC Africa