kenyas tea farmers trend

Kenya’s exports have grown by the fastest rate in the last eight years, lifted by increased sales of tea, coffee and horticultural produce.

Official data shows that East Africa’s largest economy exported Sh481 billion worth of goods between January and October, up from Sh367 billion same period last year — marking the biggest growth since 2007 at 31 per cent.

This was largely lifted by tea, Kenya’s top foreign exchange earner, whose exports stood at Sh97 billion in the year to October from Sh77.9 billion last year.

Cut flowers sales rose by Sh2.3 billion to Sh52.5 billion, coffee was up Sh1.2 billion to Sh18 billion while vegetables exports grew by Sh1.2 billion to Sh16 billion, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data.

While output from cut flowers rose, tea and coffee production dropped, a pointer that a weaker shilling helped lift sales, making farmers one of the few players in the economy to benefit from the stronger dollar.

The shilling traded at a monthly average of between Sh91.36 and Sh105.26 to the greenback in the 10 months to October compared with a range of Sh86.21 and Sh89.23 in the same period last year.

The KNBS data shows that Kenya’s import bill dropped 4.4 per cent to 1.2 trillion in the period under review, helped by lower oil prices.

This partly cushioned consumers from a steep rise in imported commodity prices that results from a weaker shilling against the greenback.

The exports growth and a cut in imports look set to put Kenya on the path to improving its current account — the difference between the value of exports and imports.

The country’s current account deficit stood at Sh719 billion in the year to October compared to Sh933 billion same period last year.

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Kenya’s current account deficit has been worsening in the past five years, standing at 9.2 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) last year from five per cent in 2010, raising concerns among Kenya’s development partners, including the World Bank.

Kenyan products enjoy preferential access to the European Union under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) which waives customs duty on the exports.

A select basket of Kenyan goods, largely textiles, also enjoys similar preferences under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) when shipped to the US.

The KNBS data shows that food and beverages exports grew by Sh26 billion to Sh183 billion in the review period while industrial supplies stagnated at Sh105 billion.

The shilling, which in September touched a low of Sh106, has been hit by a slow-down in foreign exchange revenues from tourism after a spate of militant attacks that scared visitors away.

A weaker shilling makes it expensive to purchase goods in the dollar-denominated global market but makes Kenyan goods cheaper and competitive in the overseas markets.

By KIARIE NJOROGE

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https://i0.wp.com/farmerstrend.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/kenyas-tea-farmers-trend.jpg?fit=595%2C300&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/farmerstrend.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/kenyas-tea-farmers-trend.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1#FarmersTrend#TrendingNewsKenya’s exports have grown by the fastest rate in the last eight years, lifted by increased sales of tea, coffee and horticultural produce. Official data shows that East Africa’s largest economy exported Sh481 billion worth of goods between January and October, up from Sh367 billion same period last year —...New generation culture in agriculture