Kenyan exporters bag orders in virtual trade fair


Kenyan exporters reaped big from a recent virtual trade event, an indication of economic recovery prospects amid the coronavirus effects.

During the Macfrut Digital 2020 Trade Fair in  Italy the traders clinched deals  worth more than $2.1 million(Sh235,224,0000).

The 10 women exporters who exhibited in the 3-day virtual exhibition were able to interact with global stakeholders.

These included exporters, importers, technicians, experts and investors in value addition, showcasing current emerging business opportunities in the fruit and vegetable sectors.

The virtual exhibition provided platforms for exhibitors to showcase their products and attend meetings and conferences.

The fair was postponed from May 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID 19.

We are happy that even Covid-19 did not stop our Kenyan exporters from interacting with the world on the streets of Rimini and make sales,” said the Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency chief executive Wilfred Marube.

He said the agency will continue exploring opportunities to diversify export promotion initiatives.

We are creating an exporters portal for online engagement, meetings and exhibitions. To ensure that we are not limited by physical distance, space or even funds to contribute to the growth of exports” he added.

In the virtual trade fair, Kenya was represented by 10 exporters in fruits and vegetables including Biofarm Limited, Dakiem Limited, Food Africa Limited, FreshPlus Limited among others.

Kenya’s key export products to Italy include fruits ($5.33 million), cut flowers ($5.23 million), live plants ($4.3 million), hides and skins ($4.1 million) and molluscs ($3.1 million).

The variety of  exports included avocados, mangoes, passion fruit, pineapples, French peas, mangoes, bananas, among others.

Kenya’s trade with European Union has been stable over years with the market one of the most dependent on Kenyan exports.

In 2019, Kenya’s exports to Europe were worth a total of $1.4 billion worth and the third-largest destination, after Africa (38 per cent) and Asia (26 per cent).

The European market accounted for 25.4 per cent of Kenya’s total exports valued at $ 5.8 billion.

Kenya’s leading exports to the European Union have been largely fresh produce mainly vegetables, tea, coffee, fruits and nuts, preserved fruits, tobacco products and canned fruit juices.

The country's exports across the East African Community sustained an upward trajectory during the year despite the pandemic.

Kenya's exports  to Uganda grew from Sh3.6billion in May to Sh59.3million in August, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

Exports to Tanzania, similarly, grew from $17million in May to $23million in August while to Rwanda exported goods worth $11.8million dollars in May, surging to $23.3million in August, says the KNBS.

They however remained subdued to regions across the world in particular  Europe and the US due to COVID-19 restrictions thus virtual trade presents an opportunity for recovery.

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