Kenyan vegetables, fruits fetch Ksh235 million in virtual Italian trade fair

Fruits and vegetables. [Photo: Courtesy]

The demand for Kenyan vegetables and fruits proved to be huge after 36 vegetable and fruit companies sold these horticultural products for a record Ksh235.22 million at the Macfrut Digital Trade Fair 2020 edition.

The fair was held in Rimini, Italy in a three-day event which was in collaboration with the International Trade Centre.

The fair was scheduled to take place in May this year but had to be pushed to a later date due to coronavirus pandemic which hit Italy hard.

The fair had a virtual exhibition of vegetables and fruits from Kenya.

It also brought together the world’s most reputable exporters, importers, experts and technicians.

Value addition was largely discussed.

“We are happy that even Covid-19 did not stop our Kenyan exporters from interacting with the world on the streets of Rimini and making sales. We will continue following up the exhibitors and update the confirmed orders and delivery for the next 12 months,” said the Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency’s chief executive Wilfred Marube told Business Daily.

Marube said that going forward, the agency will invest in technological infrastructure in a bid to diversify export promotion.

“Going forward, we are creating an exporters portal for online engagement, meetings and exhibitions. This one will be a game-changer in promoting our exports since it will ensure that we are not limited by physical distance, space or even funds to contribute to the growth of exports. It will provide limitless and borderless opportunities,” he added.

The expo came a few days after Emirates Skycargo announced an additional 10 weekly flights to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

This follows increased demand for Kenya’s horticultural products in the Middle East, Asia and European markets.

Between January and May 2020, Kenya earned Ksh72 billion from horticulture exports, Data from the Directorate of Horticulture indicates.

Under the same period last year, the demand for horticulture products was slightly low earning Kenya Ksh65 billion which was an 11% increase.