According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the country’s horticultural sector earned Kshs 100.8 billion in 2014 a 6% growth in comparison with Kshs 94.7 billion earned in 2013.
The Kenya Flower sector exported 136, 601 metric tonnes valued at Kshs 54.6 billion in the year 2014. This was a remarkable growth for the sector at 9% in volumes and 18% in value compared to 2013.
This came despite the challenges that the flower industry faced in the last quarter of the year when Kenya started exporting under GSP regime from October 1 to December 25th 2014 following the flop of the finalization of the EAC EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
Kenya remains one of the top three exporters of cut flowers in the world. The major markets are the EU, America, Australia, Russia, and Japan among others. To remain competitive the sector needs support especially from the Kenyan Government in branding. This can be achieved by promoting the Kenyan brand in the potential markets like Russia, America amongst others. A direct flight to the US would play a very big role in opening the market which is very promising.
Meanwhile... the Kenya Flower Council (KFC) held a lobby meeting with senior Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) managers to address some of the current issues affecting the industry. The meeting had a main agenda of addressing challenges with VAT refunds filed both on i-tax platform and manually. They also addressed the recurring shortage of GSP and EUR-1 forms, availability of officers to stamp and sign the forms at the JKIA during weekends and public holidays and possible areas of cooperation with KRA to enhance compliance.
In regard to VAT refunds, the floriculture industry has now been re-designated to a low risk industry after certain levels of confidence were achieved. The industry was commended for the progress in uptake of i-tax, which has greatly reduced the amount of time taken to process refunds.