Kenya develops integrated marketing strategy to boost horticulture sector

Kenya has developed a one-year marketing strategy for its horticulture products targeting the European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Russia, China, and United States towards achieving a 10 per cent export growth in 2020-2021.

The Integrated Marketing Communication Strategy(IMC) between Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency and the horticultural sector will work towards achieving a coordinated communication programme that is customer-focused and consistent towards achieving a competitive advantage for the horticultural produce.

The agency's Kathleen Kihanya said Kenya is well-positioned and was a basket of God’s natural blessings which include close proximity to the Equator, resulting in the high quality of horticultural products , that give Kenya a competitive edge.

“It is encouraging to see all horticulture sector players joining hands to develop an integrated marketing strategy that will ensure that the story of our unique, good quality products is effectively communicated globally,” she said.

Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency, CEO Dr. Wilfred Marube said the multi-sectoral collaboration with key players in the horticultural sector in developing the strategy will ensure all the producers in the horticultural industry are holistically engaged for maximised results.

“As an Agency, we can only rely on the producers since our role is to facilitate export growth in the targeted and emerging markets,” said Marube.

The horticultural sector remains among Kenya’s top four foreign exchange-earners.

In 2019, the horticultural sector accounted for 19 per cent of Kenya’s total exports. This was made up of floriculture at 11 per cent, fruits and vegetables at 4 per cent each.

In the same year, Kenya’s key destinations for the horticultural exports included Netherlands (Sh 39.1 billion), United Kingdom (Sh23.9 billion), United Arab Emirates (Sh5.7 billion), and United States of America (Sh 5.4 billion and Germany (Sh5.2 billion).

The five markets accounted for 13 per cent of Kenya’s total exports and 72 per cent of Kenya’s exports on horticulture respectively.

Some of the outlined strategies include combined horticultural events planning, advocacy on common issues, public relations activities, digital marketing, and compelling storytelling campaigns.

“While Kenya produces some of the best fresh produce sold at the international markets, we haven’t fully exploited this potential, It is therefore timely that we develop a strategy to communicate deliberately on our offering. As a sector, we are delighted to be part of this very important process of determining the trajectory of enhancing the exports of Kenya’s horticulture produce,” said Hosea Michuki, CEO, FPEAK) in support of the IMC strategy initiative.

“For the industry, we must demonstrate to the market our niche and differentiation of Kenya’s products so we can be competitive. We believe we have products that can be on top of the world and dominate the market, but a lot still needs to be done to make consumers make informed decisions,” said Clement Tulezi, CEO KFC.