Agriculture accounts for 43.2%, 31.1% and 26% of the GDP for Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya respectively. These countries rely heavily on Agriculture for local consumption as well as Export. At least 70% of the population in East Africa rely on Agriculture for survival. These economies also look at Agriculture as one of the top foreign exchange earners, after tourism.
For the past couple of years, the European Union shifted its focus to Africa. In 2017, The EU devised a plan to improve its relationship with African countries in a bid to boost relations as trading partners. The Marshall Plan was adopted to boost development in Africa through job creation, infrastructural development, and export and import trade. Oil, metals, mineral and Agricultural produce are the main exports from Africa to Europe.
The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and East Africa
In 2014, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi signed the EPA agreement to trade with the EU. In 2016, South Sudan sought to be part of this agreement while Tanzania opted out in 2017. These changes almost rocked this boat but so far, this agreement is being honored by the member states still interested in the trade partnership. Belgium, France and Germany are the major beneficiaries of Coffee, sugar, tea, fish products and cotton from East Africa. Netherlands and the UK mainly import horticultural products.
Agriculture products exported from East Africa to Europe in 2017
East African Companies that export Agriculture products to Europe
- Kakuzi Plc
This company is based in Kenya. It has been listed in the Nairobi Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange. It is mainly involved in the cultivation and marketing of avocados, tea, macadamia and horticultural crops. Kakuzi is the biggest producer of avocadoes in East Africa. It exports 45% of the avocadoes produced in Kenya. It produces the Hass and Fuerte variety of avocadoes. The Hass variety is popular in the EU, with France importing 70% and the UK 15% of the quantities available for export. The rest of the avocadoes are exported to the Scandinavian countries and Switzerland.
- Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK)
It is difficult for companies to export produce in large volumes. Partners in the industry chose to come together and for m an association. This association is responsible for the marketing and identification of new markets. It coordinates with farmers and major industry players to produce marketable products while adhering to the export market guidelines.
- Tropical Dynasty Ltd
This export company is based in Uganda. It exports fresh produce to Europe. It sources all the agricultural produce form Farmers who have been trained on how to produce based on the quality guidelines for the EU market. The export fresh fruits, vegetables, bulbs, roots and dry foods. Their main markets are Belgium, UK, Sweden, Switzerland and Holland.
- Garden fresh Ltd
This company exports fresh fruits and vegetables to Europe. It is one of Rwanda-s major export companies. It exports Zucchini, broccoli, sugar snaps, passion fruits, pepper, baby corn and avocado. In the fear 2016/2017, Rwanda exported 25.1MT of fruits and vegetables attracting earnings of $17 million.