The excitement of Kenya Airways' direct flights to the US could attract Kenyans to believe that the US market is ours to take. The reality is that other countries are seeing the same market and will get hard, work just to get a bit.
The magical Kenya goes to heaven
This explains why they say representatives from the coffee-growing areas were in Nebraska, the US to market the crop sounds good. However, even when the country celebrates the opening of the US market, steps must be taken to ensure that we do not continue to export jobs to the sale of raw coffee.
Allowing foreign companies to import, cook, and sell Kenya coffee increases barriers that the country will have to overcome when promoting its own products. According to a recent report by the Kenya Manufacturers Association and the Kenyan Business Guide, the brand name of locally produced products could quadruple revenue and multiply the threefold revenue that is sent to the Treasury.
Exports of agricultural products
Kenya will greatly benefit from the fact that the Minister for Agriculture and his trade and industry representative are interrogating this report and setting in motion policies that add value to agricultural exports.
Coffee and tea offer the best product to start, because they grow widely throughout the country. There are countries that have walked on this path that could teach Kenya a lesson or two. The fact that Kenya produces the best coffees and teas used to mix poor quality products gives the country a competitive edge.
In the case of coffee, Kenya can learn from Ethiopia and Rwanda exporting their trademarks in America and elsewhere.
The country can look in Sri Lanka in the case of tea. The same study reveals that Sri Lanka exported 50% of its tea in 2016, earning the equivalent of £ 62.5 billion compared to Kenya's 15 billion dollars.
The realization that cutting, tear and bust black tea loses ground in a green, flavored ready-to-eat variety should be a boost in the processing of our tea.
Historic flight KQ lands in the US
But even if Kenya moves to add value to its products, it would be prudent to ensure that the bulk of the extra salary remains in the country, benefiting the farmers. This can be done by helping farmers hold a larger part of the value chain. The two crops offer the best place to start this journey.
It would also be easier for lenders led by the Kenyan Co-operative Bank to offer credit to cooperatives rather than private individuals.
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