STRATEGY

Kenya eyes 10% growth on horticulture exports

This is through an integrated marketing strategy

In Summary

•The campaign is being spearheaded by the Kenya Export Promotion Branding Agency.

•Export markets include the European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Russia China and the US.

Delmonte Kenya Company sorting out fruits for export at the company's factory in Murang'a.
Delmonte Kenya Company sorting out fruits for export at the company's factory in Murang'a.
Image: Alice Waithera

Kenya has developed a one-year marketing strategy for its horticulture products with a 10 per cent exports growth target in 2020/2021.

Export markets include the European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Russia China and the US.

The campaign is being spearheaded by the Kenya Export Promotion Branding Agency in collaboration with the Kenya Flower Council (KFC), Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya (FPC – Kenya),Kenya Airways and the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK).

 

The Integrated Marketing Communication Strategy (IMC) between the Agency and the horticultural sector is the first of its kind and will work towards achieving a coordinated communication programme.

According to the agency’s board committee chair of strategy, marketing, communication and quality assurance, Kathleen Kihanya, Kenya is well-positioned to grow its export volumes, with the close proximity to the Equator, allowing production of high-quality horticulture products.

This gives Kenya a competitive edge, she said.

“An integrated marketing strategy will ensure that the story of our unique, good quality products is effectively communicated globally,” she said.

The Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency CEO Wilfred Marube said the

The multi-sectoral collaboration will ensure all producers in the horticultural industry are holistically engaged in maximizing results.

“As an agency, we can only rely on the producers since our role is to facilitate export growth in the targeted and emerging markets,” he said.

The horticultural sector is among the top four foreign exchange earners for the country.

In 2019, the sector accounted for 19 per cent of the Kenya’s total exports.

This was made up of floriculture at 11 per cent and fruits and vegetables at four per cent each.

Key export destinations included Netherlands (Sh39.1 billion), United Kingdom (Sh23.9 billion), United Arab Emirates (Sh5.7 billion), the US (Sh5.4 billion) and Germany Sh5.2 billion.

These leading five markets accounted for 13 per cent of Kenya’s total exports and 72 per cent of exports on horticulture respectively.

In the first quarter of this year, the country registered horticultural exports worth Sh33.9 billion, up by Sh0.2 billion compared with the Sh33.7 billion registered in the same period in 2019.

In the second quarter of 2020, lower export value of horticulture amounting to Sh23.9 billion was registered compared to Sh27.2 billion same period in 2019.

Generally, Kenya’s half-year exports of horticulture decreased by Sh3 billion from Sh60.9 billion in 2019 to Sh57.9 billion this year, attributed to disruptions by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Measures to control its spread saw nations close their borders, thus hindering exports.

Some of the outlined strategies include combined horticultural events planning, advocacy on common issues, public relations activities, digital marketing and compelling storytelling campaigns.

“While Kenya produces some of the best fresh produce sold at the international markets, we haven’t fully exploited this potential. It is therefore timely that we develop a strategy to communicate deliberately on our offering,” said Hosea Michuki, FPEAK chief executive.

KFC chief executive Clement Tulezi said: “We believe we have products that can be on top of the world and dominate the market, but a lot still needs to be done to make consumers make informed decisions.”