Kenya is aiming to boost its export earnings by sending more horticultural and agricultural products to Israel. And guess what? They’ve even launched direct flights between the two countries to make the trade route smooth like butter.

Mithika Linturi, the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS), knows the power of fruits and veggies when it comes to increasing export earnings. He’s all about those horticultural crops, and he’s not afraid to show it.

During the launch of the first cargo flight from Nairobi to Tel Aviv, Linturi gave a big shout-out to Astral Aviation for making this direct flight happen. And you know what was on that flight? Pineapples. Lots and lots of pineapples. I can almost taste the tropical goodness!

Linturi knows that agriculture is where it’s at. He sees its potential for growth, transformation, and contribution to the economy. Food security, lower costs, poverty alleviation, nutrition security, raw materials for manufacturing — it’s like agriculture is the superhero we didn’t know we needed.

The Kenyan government is all about that agricultural life too. They’ve made it a key priority in their Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA). They want to enhance food security, balance imports and exports, and increase those precious export earnings.

Linturi is serious about sustainable agricultural growth. He wants Kenya’s agriculture to be a force to be reckoned with on the global stage. It’s all part of their fancy Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (ASTGS) and National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIP). They’ve got big dreams and even bigger plans to make them happen.

Horticulture is the star of the show within the agricultural sector. According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), it’s the fastest-growing industry with a whopping 15 percent average annual growth rate. And get this: it brings in around 158 billion Kenyan Shillings in foreign earnings every year. Flowers, veggies, and fruits are the heroes of this story.

Linturi spilled the beans on the horticultural products exported. We’re talking a total volume of 313.6 thousand metric tonnes! That’s a whole lot of flowers, veggies, and fruits making their way to eager customers. And hey, there’s even potential for medicinal and aromatic plants to join the party. Who knew herbs could be so lucrative?

To make sure everything runs smoothly in the horticulture world, Kenya has set up a coordination mechanism involving everyone from public to private to non-state actors. They’re changing policies and regulations, all to create a legal framework for this coordination. It’s like they’re giving horticulture a big ol’ group hug.

Linturi couldn’t contain his excitement about the progress they’re making. They’re developing policies, revising regulations, and even creating pest-free areas to expand export markets. Talk about a government that’s got their green thumbs on the pulse of the industry.

And let’s not forget the government’s commitment to trade facilitation. They’re signing agreements left and right and creating an environment that makes businesses want to jump on board. They’re all about building bridges and creating win-win situations.

These cargo flights between Kenya and Israel? They’re a game-changer, my friend. They’re strengthening economic ties, opening up trade opportunities, and fostering partnerships that will benefit both countries. It’s like Kenya and Israel are saying, “Let’s take this relationship to new heights!”

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