Trade & Horticulture

Agricultural productivity is central to Kenya's export industry. More than 75% of the population is engaged in agriculture and allied activities, which contribute almost 25% to the national production. Horticultural produce and tea are the major items of export for Kenya. In 2006, the combined share of these two products was 10 times higher than the share of the other export items. The country has subsistence petroleum production, which is consumed internally and exported to neighboring countries.

The Horticultural sub sector is the fastest growing industry within the agricultural sector, recording an average growth of 15% to 20% per annum. It contributes to positively to wealth creation, poverty alleviation, and gender equity in the rural areas. The industry continues to contribute to the Kenyan economy through generation of income, creation of employment opportunities for rural people and foreign exchange earnings, in addition to providing raw materials to the agro processing industry. The sub-sector employs approximately 4.5 million people countrywide directly in production, processing, and marketing, while another 3.5 million people benefits indirectly through trade and other activities.

 Apart from horticulture and tea, other major items of export are coffee, fish and cement. In 2009, Kenya’s exports grossed over US$4.9 billion. The UK is the largest export partner of Kenya, accounting for more than 10% of the total export volumes. It is followed by the Netherlands, Uganda, Tanzania, the US and Pakistan.

Kenya’s imports include machinery, transport equipment, motor vehicles, metals, plastics and electrical equipment. India and the UAE are the largest import partners for Kenya. In 2009, both countries accounted for more than 11% of the total import volume. Other major import partner countries are China, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Japan and the US.

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