Kenyan flower exporters prepare to seize US market opportunities
On September 14, the USAID East African Trade and Investment Hub held a Kenya Flower Stakeholders Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya to discuss U.S. market opportunities for Kenyan floriculture exporters.
A total of 50 floriculture value chain stakeholders attended the meeting.
Stakeholder comments from the meeting will inform the ongoing Kenya National AGOA Strategy review and the Kenya Flower Council USA market promotion action plan.
The Senior Deputy Permanent Secretary for Kenya’s Department of Trade, Mr. Samson Wangusi, opened the meeting and emphasized Kenyan’s commitment to ensuring full utilization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
“As Kenyans we are grateful to the U.S government for renewing AGOA for another ten years.
The extension of the AGOA program until 30th September 2025 provides the business community with an opportunity to plan and execute their export plans properly to increase AGOA utilization and reap maximum benefit by 2025,” said Senior Deputy Permanent Secretary Wangusi pictured above.
The Hub is providing technical support to the Kenyan government to review the Kenya AGOA Strategy and implementation of action plans to maximize utilization of AGOA benefits. The strategy will outline key sectors and product categories for increasing export competitiveness and trade with the U.S.
One of the key sectors is certainly floriculture.
In the 2015 - 2016 period, the U.S. was the world’s largest importer of cut flowers and third largest importer of ornamental products, such as live trees and plants, bulbs, roots, cut flowers and ornamental foliage. The U.S.’s top flower import is roses, which happens to be Kenya’s top export.
With direct flight to the U.S. from Nairobi about to commence, flower business between the U.S. and Kenya could take off.
Kenya’s total exports to the USA were valued at U.S $ 569 million in 2016 down from U.S $594 million in 2015. Increase of flower exports to the U.S may recover what we lost in 2016,” said Senior Deputy Permanent Secretary, Mr. Samson Wangusi.
The Hub is committed to supporting increased flower exports from Kenya to the U.S under AGOA. As part of this support, and following a request from the Kenya Ministry of Trade and the Kenya Flower Council, the Hub retained the services of a flower sector export consultant to conduct workshops and a U.S market analysis that will play a key role to position Kenya’s cut flowers in the U.S market.
"It is wonderful to see the interest and enthusiasm displayed by a wide range of players in the cut flowers sector at today's event. The Hub is committed, with our partner, the Kenya Flower Council, to increasing the export of Kenyan flowers to the US market under AGOA. The sector has been identified as a key one under the National AGOA Utilization Strategy which is ongoing, and direct flights to the US from Nairobi will hopefully make this dream a reality,” said Hub’s Trade Promotion and AGOA Director Finn Holm-Olsen pictured above.