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Case study:

Increasing UK–Kenya trade and investment in the horticulture sector

This joint project between the Growth Gateway and Trade Connect programs focuses on how the UK government is supporting African exporters.

The Kenyan horticultural sector exports many high-value products, such as vegetables, fruit, and flowers, globally, including to the UK. The sector is vital for Kenyan smallholder farmer incomes, jobs, and foreign exchange, which support economic growth. As a major trading partner for Kenya, the UK imports Kenyan vegetables and flowers and supplies of finance and high-tech equipment. This 2-way trade is vital to Kenya’s horticultural sector, but it has been declining steadily since 2012.

Despite previously stagnant UK retailer prices and rising freight costs, Kenyan producers have struggled to deliver consistent quality and high volumes competitively. Poor trade facilitation, depreciation of the pound, and uncertainty over post-Brexit food standards requirements have further reduced their market share.

Similarly, UK exports to the Kenyan horticultural sector, including farm machinery, have declined after competition from India, China, and Turkey. This is made worse because competitive credit terms have not been available for Kenyan importers.

This short project explored specific, high potential, horticultural value chains and identified products that could meet the demand of UK retailers and consumers. It also identified UK agricultural equipment, technology, and services that could meet the demand in Kenya to optimize the productivity of horticultural value chains.


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