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Kenya: Ministry to create conducive environment for horticulture investorsMonday, June 13, 2016 > 15:20:09
Kenya will create a conducive environment to enable the expansion of investment in its horticulture sector.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Richard Lesiyampe, said the government had already zero rated value added tax and given duty exemptions for irrigation-related equipment used in the horticulture sector.
"We are also continuously reviewing the policies and regulatory framework to ensure that we create a conducive environment for investors and facilitate further growth of the horticulture sub-sector and the flower industry in particular," Lesiyampe said during the official opening of the fifth edition of International Floriculture Trade Expo in Nairobi.
He added the government will continue to facilitate the competitiveness of Kenya’s horticultural sector.
The three-day expo is expected to bring over 200 exhibitors from over 60 countries across the world to showcase their products.
During the expo, discussions will be held among local and foreign exhibitors over the development of flower trade.
Lesiyampe said that Kenya will also establish an Agriculture Development Fund that will support the development of agriculture crops in general and horticulture crops in particular.
Kenya’s floriculture sub-sector is a major foreign exchange earner and employs over 500,000 people directly and more than 6 million people indirectly.
According to the ministry of agriculture, the flower industry has recorded an annual growth rate of between ten and 20 percent over the last 15 years.
Lesiyampe said that in 2015, Kenya exported flowers worth 630 million U.S. dollars, up from 550 million dollars the previous year.
He said that Kenya contributes over 35 percent to the world flower trade and competes with countries like Ecuador, Colombia, and Ethiopia in the international flower business.
The country’s leading flower product is the rose flower followed by carnations and a range of summer flowers.