Kenya is the 106th largest export economy in the world and the 92nd most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI). Agricultural products are the most significant to the country’s export industry, with horticultural products and tea taking top lead.
The export of fresh produce is growing with the introduction of other products being introduced into the international market. Statistics show that by 2015, fruits accounted for 5.9 Billion while roses accounted for 59.9 Billion. This is remarkable growth from the previous years. It is encouraging how new products are finding their way into exports markets which can be attributed to active marketing and sensitization.
The Exploring International Markets Program at Strathmore Business School (SBS) seeks to demystify the agricultural export business as it evaluates the opportunities present in the international market for fresh produce, various agricultural products and prospective value chain opportunities. The 2017 exploring international markets program was undertaken by 25 investors keen on tapping into the global market as well as understanding best practices in the fresh produce sector.
The first module of the program was conducted at Germany- Berlin, where participants attended the Fruit Logistica Conference- One of the biggest Fresh Produce conventions for agriculturalists. With an attendance of over 25,000 exhibitors and exporters, the participants of the program interacted with global buyers of fresh produce, machinery suppliers and other solution providers across the fruits and vegetables value chain.
The second module of the program took place from 27th Feb to 1st March and involved class discussions from seasoned industry experts who sought to apply the Germany lessons to their respective individual ventures. Other sessions covered during the second module included Business modeling and farm planning, Production planning for export, various financing models they can leverage on other than debt, Negotiating skills among others. The investors also got mentorship from one of the largest herbs exporters from Kenya, Ms. Esther Ngina.
Speaking during the session, Esther emphasized that being an exporter is one of the greatest careers one can pursue because one has the responsibility of feeding millions of people somewhere in the globe. The sector has very high restrictions but they are necessary to ensure that people are being fed healthy foods. She further emphasized on the need for farmers and various players seeking an entry into the export market seek sufficient knowledge of regulatory requirements and the sector to avoid losing money.
Click here to read about the Exploring International Markets program. Applications are open for 2018