Kenya is becoming a power house in farming as fruits and vegetables present a good opportunity for farmers, exporters and other people involved in farming. The only limiting factor in this production capacity of the current farmers.
Common Challenges That Farmers Face
There are a few challenges that face farmers in the horticulture sub-sector that are not limited to;
- Low prices in terms of local markets
- High costs of inputs (seeds. Fertilizer, pesticides)
- Strict international standards and market demands which hinder access to the export market
- Post-harvest losses and lack of enough technology to improve consumer acceptance
- Lack of enough capital and limited access to affordable loans from finance institutions for farmers
- Climate change – Kenya of late is experiencing climatic changes where rain is sometimes unreliable
- Pests and diseases – Kenya currently is facing fruit fly and false codling moth. Another problem farmers need to get away with is management of the citrus greening disease in oranges and the woodiness disease in purple passion fruits, the markets for these fruits will remain unexploited.
- Poor infrastructure: Inadequate storage, lack of pack house facilities and refrigerated trucks constrain marketability of horticultural products.
How Much does Kenya Export Abroad?
Domestic consumption of fresh produce is still high and currently stands at about 95 per cent of total production. However, export market is currently growing, and the major markets are in the Euro-zone.
To improve margins, Kenya has focused on diversifying to other non-traditional export markets such as the United Arab Emirates, Middle East, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
The main products to the European Union are French beans, snow peas and sugar snaps, broccoli, herbs, and spices and avocados, among others. Kenya exports vegetables, herbs and spices, avocados and mangoes to the Middle East market.
What Are The Best Fresh Produce (Fruits and Veggies) Should Kenya
Fruits – Hass Avocados, passion fruits, pawpaw, oranges, mangoes, strawberry and apples. Contact Oxfarm.co.ke
Vegetables – snow peas, broccoli, French beans, carrots, garden peas, salad onions, leeks and cucumber.
Herbs and Spices: Basil, thyme, coriander, parsley, mint and chives
Nevertheless, All the above products grow under specific agro-ecological zones and farmers should make sure that they grow the crops in their required zones.