Kenya plans to multiply exports from Eldoret Airport

The Eldoret International Airport runway and cargo handling facilities will be expanded to start export of fresh agricultural produce. The expansion will cost more than Sh1 billion.Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei told the state is working with county governments in the North Rift to expand the airport and increase production of fresh produce. ‘We are supporting farmers to diversify their activities and venture into fresh produce for exports,’ he said.


Koskei said the current runway at the airport cannot accommodate large aircraft taking off with cargo. He said the North Rift has potential for production of horticulture, floriculture and fruits for exports.‘Farmers should not rely on cereals production alone,’ Koskei said. Governors from seven counties in the North Rift and Western Kenya have already signed a memorandum of understanding to boost production of fresh produce, which will be transported through the Eldoret airport.The counties in the plan include Uasin Gishu, Nandi, West Pokot, Trans Nzoia, Turkana, Bungoma and Elgeyo Marakwet. The governors said the airport is underutilised and now plan to have at least two cargo flights weekly to export farm produce from the counties.Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago told that governors will make an effort to improve utility of the airport by increasing production of flowers, vegetables and fruits. ‘We want to utilise the airport to improve trade in our region and that is why we will jointly market the facility to make it more active,’ he said.The airport is currently operating at only one per cent of its cargo handling capacity and 40% of its passenger capacity. Governors in the region are worried that the airport is going to waste owing to low operations. Leaders have met to discuss ways to improve the airport's performance and exports.Uasin Gishu Trade executive Phillip Melly said counties will support horticultural farming in the region. Last month, the counties hosted a joint investment forum to discuss opportunities in agriculture, tourism and trade.
KQ Airplane at Eldoret Airport

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