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Kenya’s horticulture industry not out of the woods yet – expert

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 26 – Kenya’s horticulture industry is estimated to be losing at least Sh106 Million per day as a direct impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, a new report reveals.

This is despite the gradual opening of most markets within the European Union, Kenya’s main horticulture exports market.

An analysis by Scope Markets Kenya shows that while some demand for horticulture exports has returned and losses have reduced, the outlook remains bleak throughout the coming months.

Scope Markets Kenya is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SM Capital Markets, a firm based in Cyprus.

The company is Licensed as a non-dealing online foreign exchange broker by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA).

According to the report released in London, Kenya’s horticultural sector will take time to recover.

“Shipments of flowers, vegetables, herbs and fruits to the European Union, which accounts for more than 80 per cent of horticulture exports from Kenya, all but ceased in March this year following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the report says.

Most European capitals immediately went into total lockdown, to stem the spread of COVID-19.

By April and May 2020, Kenya’s horticulture industry was losing about $3.5 million a day, according to the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya.

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Kenyan farms have drastically reduced export volumes to 50 per cent, with a sizeable number suspending exports altogether.

Scope Markets Kenya says if the current situation does not improve soon, companies are facing downsizing or closure, which will result in increased poverty, insecurity and hunger.

Eighty percent of Kenya’s horticulture exports is to the European Union. Figures indicate that there is a 50 percent reduction in export volumes.

Scope Markets says Kenya has issued its own warnings over the last few weeks with indications that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) could fall, with the most aggressive estimates showing a contraction of -1% due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In February the World Bank forecast 6 percebt growth for Kenya in 2020.

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