Agribusiness Development Support Project (ADSP) Mid Term Evaluation

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The horticulture industry is the fastest growing agricultural sub-sector in the country. It has shown a steady increase of between 15-20 % over the last decade. Currently it contributes to about 23 % of the Gross Domestic Product and is the third foreign exchange earner after tea and tourism. In the year 2001, a turnover of KES 21 billion and KES 80 billion for the export and local markets respectively was recorded .The fresh export volumes grew by 14 % with flowers and vegetables recording a 7 % growth respectively while fruits grew by 47 %. This phenomenal growth was largely attributed to roses, carnations, alstromeria and statice in the flower category while the main vegetables included French beans, runner beans, okra, snow pea and mixed vegetables. Increase in fruit exports was mainly due to macadamia nuts, avocadoes, mangoes, passion fruit and pineapples (Horticultural news June-July 2002). The industry also provides employment and plays an important role in poverty reduction by providing food and income to small-scale farmers. The major horticultural crops for both local and export market include fruits (banana, mango, avocado, passion fruit, pawpaw, pineapple, citrus, apples), vegetables (cabbages, kales, tomatoes, onions, carrots, peas, chillies, brinjals, okra, karela, dudhi, ravaya and indigenous vegetables) and cut flowers (roses, statice, carnations, alstroemeria, arabicum, ornithogalum, lisianthus and tuberose).