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February 23, 2012

Kenya horticulture exports rise 18% in 2011

Kenya's earnings from horticulture exports rose 18% in 2011, despite a marginal dip in volumes, buoyed by a favorable exchange rate and strong prices for vegetables and fruits.

Horticulture is the country's leading source of foreign exchange, alongside tourism, remittances from Kenyans living abroad and tea exports.

East Africa's largest economy earned 91.6 billion shillings ($1.10 billion) from the sale of flower, fruit, vegetable and nut exports in 2011, data from the USAID Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness Project (KHCP) showed.

The body, which aims to boost employment in the industry, said there was scope for further growth in 2012, especially in flower production, which makes up the bulk of the sector's earnings.

Kenya exports most its horticultural produce to Europe, whose sovereign debt crisis has driven many countries to the brink of recession at the start of 2012.

The USAID Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness Project said the country exported 382,638 tonnes of horticulture in 2011 compared with 403,026 tonnes in 2010.


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