Kenya's earnings from horticulture remained flat in the first quarter of 2023 despite an increase in the volume of produce exported as low prices in the global market hurt income, the Central Bank said in a new report released Monday.
While the East African nation exported 174,908 metric tonnes (MT) of horticulture produce, namely cut flowers, fruits, and vegetables, it earned 32.5 billion shillings (about 235 million U.S. dollars), as compared to 136,481 MT at 234 million dollars in a similar period in 2022, according to the apex bank.
During the period, exports from cut flowers earned Kenya 128 million dollars, followed by fruits at 58 million dollars while the rest came from fresh vegetables, the Central Bank noted.
The slowdown in earnings is a continuation from 2022, which saw the value of exports drop 24 percent, hurt by decreased revenues from flowers.
Clement Tulezi, the chief executive officer of Kenya Flower Council, attributed the stifled performance in 2022 to low demand in markets occasioned by rising global inflation.
"Due to inflation, people are choosing where to spend their money, which has created uncertainty on demand, and in turn, the prices have been driven downwards," he said recently.
While he was optimistic about good performance in 2023, Tulezi said global inflation remains elevated in major markets in America and Europe, which has affected demand and thus prices.