The sector has detached tea and earned the country Sh122.9 billion last year, compared with Sh113.5 billion from the beverage.
Earnings from flowers, vegetables and fruits, mostly exported to European countries last year, surpassed tea to become Kenya’s second-leading currency earner.
However, diaspora transfers topped the major export sectors, with Kenyans sending Sh289.5 billion. Home home.
While both sectors – horticulture and tea – recorded a decline in revenue, the horticultural segmentation was able to save it from a major decline.
Earnings from fruit grew, while vegetables remained flat, offsetting a fall in cut flower income. Sector earnings fell to Sh122.9 billion in 2019 from Sh124 billion in 2018.
However, earnings from tea exports were marked by a major decline to Sh113.5 billion last year, from Sh138 billion in 2018, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).
This was the lowest since 2014, with earnings of Sh93 billion.
Tea export revenues peaked at Sh147 billion in 2017 before falling in the recent past due to a combination of factors that is key to a reduction in tea prices, among other things.
KNBS in the Economic Survey 2020 said the decline in the value of tea, coffee and horticultural exports resulted in the overall decline in domestic exports, falling four percent to Sh520 billion. In 2018, the value of Kenya’s domestic exports was Sh542 billion.
“Revenue from domestic exports fell 4.1 percent to $ 520.8 billion in 2019 as a result of declines in the value of tea, non-roasted coffee and horticultural exports,” the KNBS report said.
“The value of tea exports decreased by 18.2 percent from Sh138.8 billion in 2018 to Sh113.6 billion in 2019, while the value of horticultural exports decreased by 1.1 percent to Sh122.9 billion.”
Horticulture had a tremendous growth in 2018, for example, flowers grew by 37 percent compared to 2017. Last year, on the other hand, saw reduced demand for Kenyan products among major European markets.
Tea was affected last year by increased global production as well as turmoil in the main markets – Pakistan and the UK.
This led to reduced prices at the auction with a kilo going for Sh225 in 2019 compared to Sh260 a kilo in 2018.
Tourism remained the top forex earner earning the country Sh163.6 billion in 2019, from Sh157.4 billion in 2018.