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The agriculture sector is the mainstay of Kenya’s economy contributing 29.3 to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and accounting for 80 of national employment. According to the Kenya Economic Survey 2017, the leading subsectors in 2017 were Dairy, Tea and Horticulture, in that order.

The domestic value of horticulture production in 2018 was estimated at Kshs. 248.5 Billion compared to Kshs. 207.5 Billion in 2017 equivalent to an increase of 19.7 per cent. Over the same period, cultivated area increased by 3.6 per cent from 402,796 ha to 417,367 ha while total production increased by 7.7 per cent from 6.2 million tons to 6.7 million tonnes in 2018 compared to 5.9 million tonnes in 2017.

In 2018, floriculture registered a 13 per cent increase in value at Kshs. 113 Billion from Kshs. 82 Billion realized in the year 2017, accounting for 45.5 per cent of the domestic value of horticulture. Fruits production showed mixed reaction during the period under review. The area increased in 2017 by 4.6 percent but the production and value decreased by 7.8 and 3.8 percent respectively. This was attributed to drought in 2017 because most of the fruits in Kenya are grown under rain fed conditions. In 2018, the area increased by 6.2 percent from 175,617ha to 186,494 ha while production and value increased from 2.9 to 3.1 Million tons while the value increased from 53.4 Billion to 59.4 Billion representing 7.4 and 11.1 percent increase respectively.

Summary of Overall Performance of Horticultural products per category for the years 2016-2018

Crops

2016

2017

2018

% Of Total

Area (Ha)

Volume

(MT )

Value(KES)

Area (Ha)

Volume

(MT

Value ( KES)

Area (Ha)

Volume

(MT

Value ( KES)

Cut Flowers

13,265

133,658

70,829,466,905

13,280

159,961

82,248,862,888

13,310

161,227

113,165,186,323

45.54

Fruits

170,607

3,189,178

55,687,269,286

186,928

3,226,453

59,307,484,311

185,499

3,371,498

63,807,429,866

25.68

Exotic Veg

117,541

1,887,880

37,908,435,144

134,466

2,250,298

47,071,728,378

141,427

2,412,682

52,220,367,147

21.02

Indigenous Veg

63,287

229,491

6,842,976,893

45,508

219,458

7,320,796,948

54,740

292,096

8,151,716,317

3.28

Aromatic

12,383

124,642

5,791,117,070

12,942

160,448

7,395,277,047

14,734

180,841

7,163,976,384

2.88

Summer flowers

8,257

194,284

3,453,496,751

7,260

184,250

3,473,496,000

5,185

260,517

3,237,546,671

1.30

Asian Veg

1,510

16,311

738,234,406

1,673

12,853

629,643,613

1,745

14,040

650,301,293

0.26

Medicinal

460

3,492

128,330,500

739

3,563

81,782,241

727

3,483

81,795,991

0.03

Total

387,310

5,778,936

181,379,326,955

402,796

6,217,285

207,529,071,425

417,367

6,696,384

248,478,319,992

100.00

Horticultural Exports

The total value of Horticultural produce exported in 2018 increased by Ksh38.358 Billion from 115.32 Billion to 153.68 representing 33.3 percent as compared to the value in 2017. Flowers exports increased from 82.24 Billion in 2017 to 113.165 in 2018 an increase of 30.9 Billion representing 37.6 percent rise. Fruits registered 42.4 percent increase from 9 Billion in 2017 to 12.81 Billion. During the period under review the vegetables increased from 24.06 Billion to 27.68 Billion accounting for 15 Percent increase. The marked increase in vegetables exports was attributed to compliance with the export market requirements by majority of exporters especially to the European Union. The high increase in the value of fruits was attributed to increased prices from new and traditional markets as well as acceptability of the fruits due to improved observance of proper harvesting time.

Fresh Horticultural Exports

product

2016

2017

2018

% of

total

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Flowers

133,658,334

70,829,466,905

159,961,194

82,248,862,888

161,227,150

113,165,186,323

74

Fruits

48,657,815

7,317,269,942

56,945,367

9,009,319,074

75,552,996

12,831,093,042

8

Vegetables

78,790,593

23,366,771,795

87,240,279

24,064,640,429

98,414,277

27,685,191,354

18

Total

261,106,742

101,513,508,642

304,146,840

115,322,822,391

335,194,422

153,681,470,719

100