November 21, 2013.The United States suspension of imports from strife torn Egypt has led to the super power turning to Kenya for horticultural imports.
This comes after farmers went through a tough year grappling with minimum residual levels (MRL’s) testing in the Europe market, and the move by the United States is likely to push prices up, to the benefit of local production.
These developments have seen Kenyan farmers being asked to increase their horticultural production to meet growing demand from the American market.
“The US is buying horticultural products like French beans and flowers from Kenya, because our products are chemical-free and of high quality”, says Horticultural Crop Development Authority (HCDA) Dr Alfred Serem.
The instability in Egypt is a blessing in disguise for Kenya, according to Serem, because the North-African country was a major traditional supplier of horticultural products to the US, a position that is likely to be taken over by Kenya.
Serem has therefore urged farmers to capitalize on the situation to earn the country billions of extra shillings from the US-exports. The horticultural sector is expected to earn the country this year 920 million euro’s in foreign exchange.
“The HCDA, national and county governments will soon roll out major programmes to boost production because demand for crops from Kenya is rising by the day, in not only the US but also in Europe”, Dr Serem says.