Horticulture earnings rise to Sh64bn in six months
Farmers earned Sh64 billion from fresh horticultural exports to Europe in the first six months of 2017, compared to Sh58 billion in a similar period last year.
According to Agriculture and Food Authority, cut flowers saw a 23 per cent increase with 85 metric tonnes sold for Sh48 billion, up from Sh41.1 billion realised from the previous sale of 49 metric tonnes.
March was this year’s best month where 14.4 metric tonnes valued at Sh11.1 billion were exported compared to 12.4 metric tonnes sold for Sh8.4 billion.
Statistics released by the government also show fruit farmers enjoyed a bumper harvest with the market expanding across Europe where they exported 37.3 metric tonnes worth Sh5.3 billion, compared to 2016 earnings of Sh30.1 metric tonnes that earned farmers Sh4.3 billion.
While the sale of fresh vegetables appears to have increased, farmers earned less from 42.8 metric tonnes at Sh10.8 billion compared to last year’s 35 metric tonnes that raked in Sh12.7 billion.
An increase in fruit production follows the establishment of a training hub on proper farm management, reducing chemical use while promoting natural pest control methods.