Kenyan exporters have secured deals worth Kshs 235 million from Italian buyers in the recently held Virtual Macfrut Digiral 2020 Trade Fair according to the Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency.
The event which was with buyers in Rimini, Italy, saw local exporters ink deals with 36 buyers who were sourcing for fruits and vegetable during the virtual expo.
“The 10 women exporters who exhibited in the 3-day virtual exhibition were hosted at the Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency offices and with support with technology, they were able to interact with global stakeholders including exporters, importers, technicians, experts and investors in value addition, showcasing current emerging business opportunities in the fruit and vegetable sectors,” KEPBROBA stated.
The event which had been slated for May and later postponed due to COVID-29 signals a strong return of exports to Italy which is among top countries in the world devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are happy that even COVID 19 did not stop our Kenyan exporters from interacting with the world on the streets of Rimini and make sales. We will continue following up the exhibitors and update the confirmed orders and delivery for the next 12 months,” said KEPROBA Chief Executive Dr. Wilfred Marube.
Data from KEPROBA shows that Italy is among top European export markets for Kenya products with fruits earning Kenya Kshs 533 million last year, cut flowers Kshs 523 million, live plants Kshs 430 million, hides and skins Kshs 410 million and molluscs Kshs 310 million.
Dr Mrube adds that following the disruptions caused by COVID-19, the agency will now embark on strengthening its technological infrastructure to ensure that export promotion initiatives are diversified.
“Going forward, we are creating an exporters portal for online engagement, meetings and exhibitions. This one will be a game changer in promoting our exports since it will ensure that we are not limited by physical distance, space or even funds to contribute to the growth of exports. It will provide limitless and borderless opportunities,” Dr. Marube added.
In 2019, Kenya’s merchandised exports to Europe were worth a total of Kshs 140 billion and the third-largest destination, after Africa and Asia which accounted for 38 percent and 26 percent of total exports amounting to Kshs 580 billion respectively.
The 10 exporters in fruits and vegetables who participated in the Macfrut Virtual Trade Fair include Biofarm Limited, Dakiem Limited, Food Africa Limited, FreshPlus Limited, Kyula Exporters, Modest Exporters, Mula Export Limited, Saipei Foods Limited, Select Fresh Produce and Urban Fresh Ventures.