EAC Plans to Double its Fruit & Vegetable Exports to $900 Million

The East African Community (EAC) gas announced plans to double its fruit and vegetable exports to $900 million in the next eight years.

In its 2021-2031 strategic plan, the Community plans to increase the area under fruit production by 5% to 10 million hectares, with an eye on the global export market. The strategic plan also seeks to increase the area under vegetable production by 5% to 45 million hectares from 32.8 million hectares.

According to the Strategic plan, the sector represents 20% to 36% of the agriculture GDP in the EAC.

If implemented, the intra-EAC trade in fruit and vegetable products would increase from the current $9.9 million to $25 million by 2031. The strategic plan further shows that the volume of EAC trade in the market is about 1.28 million tonnes per year, with the EU accounting for the largest share, at 49% of fruits and vegetables imported from EAC.

The trade in fruits and vegetables between EAC and the EU is estimated at 187,000 tonnes per year and valued at around $455.9 million.

Other targets in the strategic plan include employment opportunities being created along the value chain to the tune of 4,000,000 direct jobs, by the end of 2031; reduction in post-harvest losses from the current 40 percent to 20 percent; and increase in the proportion of processed fruits from the eight% to 16%.

It also plans to train and support SME entrepreneurs particularly in improving productivity, quality standards linking to the global supply chain, and increase GDP contribution by fruits and vegetables from the current 36% to 50%.

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