By Faith Ronoh
Uasin Gishu County could earn Kenya more export revenue if its residents ventured into sports and tourism, Export Promotion Council (EPC) has said.
Currently, the region grows Kenya’s tea, wheat, and maize, among other horticultural produce whose exports earn Kenya foreign exchange and creates employment. And now, the EPC wants farmers to add value to their products as well as diversify to activities such as sports tourism for better prospects, when the county governments come into effect.
“We need adequate reserve of exchange to stabilise the shilling. This is why we are reaching out to residents from this county to exploit the many opportunities in terms of horticulture, sports and tourism,” Bramwell Simiyu, a Board director at EPC said during the opening of the Uasin Gishu Export clinic held yesterday in Eldoret.
He added: “This county is endowed with diverse natural resources and raw materials such as livestock products, commercial crafts and fisheries among others that need to be exploited.”
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Simiyu said the residents should identify products within their location that are suitable for exporting and in turn invest in them.
He said the narrow basket sectors of tea, horticulture and tourism need to be boosted because they are prone to external shocks especially when export countries face financial crisis.
He said it was discouraging that Kenya exported goods and services worth Sh511 billion and imported Sh1.3 trillion worth of products in 2011, saying it should have been the vice versa.
Mr Simiyu disclosed that EPC would assist the residents in setting up companies and register them as entities. It would also identify suitable markets for potential exporting goods and services.
“Apart from the normal export market countries, EPC has come up with plans to identify new markets in Romania, Russia and other potential countries,” Jane Ndungo, who is the manager of Trade policy analysis said.Ms Ndungo explained that such forums at the grassroots level were important in engaging with county leaders and other stakeholders towards promoting Kenya’s exports.