Kenya flower industry covid-19 impact
Kenyan farms have drastically reduced export volumes to 50%, with a sizeable number suspending exports altogether. [ Photo / Bettervest.com ]

Kenya’s horticulture industry is estimated to be losing at least Ksh106 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 export market. And even though some level of demand for Kenya’s flower exports has returned as the restrictions ease, the country is not out of the woods yet and is losing about $1 million (Ksh100 million) a day.

Lockdown woes

An analysis by Scope Markets Kenya shows that while some demand for horticulture exports has returned and losses 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% of horticulture exports from Kenya, all but ceased in March this year following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic

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.

Kenyan farms have drastically reduced export volumes to 50%, 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. 80% Kenya’s horticulture exports is to the European Union. Figures indicate that there is a 50% reduction in Kenya’s flower 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. Most aggressive estimates showing a contraction of -1% due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In February the World Bank forecast 6% growth for Kenya in 2020.

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