The USAID Hub has signed a grant with Kenya Flower Council with the goal of increasing Kenya’s share of the U.S. market for cut flowers by December 2019. The Hub and Kenya Flower Council will work together to raise cut flower exports by boosting the visibility of Kenyan flowers in the U.S. market through targeted product promotion activities and by building the capacity of exporters to meet U.S. packaging and market entry requirements.
“Kenya is the largest floriculture exporter to Europe and the world's third largest exporter of flowers and foliage. Kenyan entrepreneurs are now ready to enter the U.S. market and the USAID Hub will enable them to achieve this goal,” said the Hub’s Chief of Party, Juan Estrada-Valle.
Cut flower exports have made the flower sector one of Kenya’s leading export exchange earners. The industry’s role in the national economy was recognized in the recently launched National African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Strategy, 2018-2023, where it was identified as a priority sector in the country’s effort to double exports to the U.S. through AGOA’s duty-free access to the U.S. market.
"The signing of this grant provides an opportunity for Kenyan exporters to have a footprint into the U.S. with a good understanding of the market structure and requirements. We are certain that Kenyan flowers can complement what already exists through increased promotion and taking advantage of the recently launched AGOA strategy," said Kenya Flower Council Chief Executive Officer, Clement Tulezi.
The timing of this grant is significant. Direct flights between Nairobi and New York will begin this October, improving exporters’ competitiveness with reduced transit times. It also follows the recent establishment of the U.S.-Kenya Trade and Investment Working Group, which will explore ways to deepen trade ties between the two countries. The successful implementation of grant activities will therefore contribute to the commitment to improve trade relations made by President Trump and President Kenyatta during their meeting in August at the White House and Kenya’s National AGOA Strategy’s implementation.