Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency CEO Dr. Wilfred Marube (Right) engages an Exhibitor at the Virtual Macfrut Digital 2020 Trade Fair which kicked off yesterday in Rimini, Italy. Over 10 Kenyan Exhibitors taking part in the online trade fair are being hosted at the Agency’s offices.

Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (KEPROBA) is hosting 10 women exporters who are exhibiting at the Virtual Macfrut Digital 2020 Trade Fair that kicks off on Tuesday through to Thursday.

This is part of the agency’s strategy of leveraging technology to push the exports agenda in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic which has disrupted global trade.

Macfrut Trade Fair, which is in its 37th Edition, is expected to bring together global stakeholders including exporters, importers, technicians, experts, and investors in value addition, showcasing current emerging business opportunities in the fruit and vegetable sectors. The fair was postponed from May 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19 but kicked off on Tuesday.

“COVID-19 has changed the way we live, interact, and conduct business. Many organizations have had to re-strategize in order to survive through the new norm. As the agency charged with the promotion of Kenya’s exports in the global markets, we have had to re-look at our promotion models and take advantage of information technology to ensure that we deliver on our mandate,” said the Agency’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Wilfred Marube in a statement.

“Export promotion is not just about exhibiting. It is also about offering A-Z support to exporters and linking them to markets, and this is exactly what we have done here,” said the Agency’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Wilfred Marube,” he added.

The agency has partnered with the International Trade Centre’s SheTrades project, which is an initiative that provides women entrepreneurs with a unique network and platform to connect to international markets. The project works across the business ecosystem to facilitate market access for exporters of fresh produce in Kenya and promotes the participation of women in exports.

KEPROBA has made interventions and assisted the exhibitors to prepare for the exhibition through briefings, running a digital campaign to promote Kenya’s participation, and profiling the exhibitors at the event to drive traffic to the Kenyan stands.

Macfrut Digital Fair will also provide Business to Business (B2B) forums where professionals in the fruit and vegetable sector meet with their counterparts in Italy and in Europe.

There will be display of products like agricultural equipment, agricultural chemical, farm, and agricultural products and services in the same sector.

This is the 37th Edition of the annual Macfrut Trade Fair which was to take place in Italy in May 2020 but was cancelled due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Kenya’s trade with the European Union (EU) has been stable over the years. The market is one of the most crucial for Kenyan exports.

In 2019, Kenya’s merchandised exports to Europe were worth a total of US $ 1.4 billion and was the third-largest destination, after Africa (38%) and Asia (26%).

The European market accounted for 25.4 percent of Kenya’s total exports valued at US$ 5.8 billion. The western European economies of, Germany, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom (before Brexit) were the three major export destinations within Europe and amongst them accounted for 16.7% of Kenya’s total exports in 2019.

Kenya’s leading exports to the European Union have been largely fresh produce mainly vegetables, tea, coffee, fruits and nuts, preserved fruits, tobacco products, and canned fruit juices.

On the other hand, Kenya’s imports from EU have comprised of medicaments, petroleum oils, paper and paper board, medicinal and pharmaceutical products, arms and ammunition, chemicals, motor vehicles, aircraft, space crafts as well as vehicle and aircraft parts.

In this Virtual Trade Fair that is happening in Rimini, Italy, Kenya is being represented by the 10 exporters of fruits and vegetables including Biofarm Limited, Dakiem Limited, Food Africa Limited, FreshPlus Limited, Kyula Exporters, Modest Exporters, Mula Export Limited, Saipei Foods Limited, Select Fresh Produce and Urban Fresh Ventures.

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