Export Opportunities in Herbs and Spices
Spices are dried seed, fruit, root, bark or vegetable substance primarily used for flavouring, colouring or preserving food. On the other hand herbs are parts of leafy green plants used for flavouring or as a garnish
Spices include Pepper(Capsicum, Cayenne, Black ) Ginger, Nutmeg, Saffron, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Mustard Seed and Sesame seed
Examples of herbs are Rosemary, Thyme and Parsley
The growing of spices in Kenya is not new.  It is however not given the prominence it deserves despite its potential as a substantial foreign exchange earner through exports. The world trade in spices was valued at USD 2.1 Billion in 2013 by International Trade Centre (ITC).  Kenya’s export to the world for the same period was worth USD 6 million representing less than 1% of total world value earned.
According to United Nations Industrial Development (Unido), the biggest importer of spices is the European Union (EU), with Germany as the leading Country in the EU. The USA and Japan are the two largest single country importers of spices. An important part of the marketing is branding and packaging which has helped a number of firms realize international markets. Value addition as a means of increasing competitiveness can result in production of essential oils, oleoresins, powders, specialty extracts and blends.
Kenya’s exports of spices to the Netherlands grew in value by 101% between 2009 and 2013.The long term global consumption is expected to keep outpacing supply. Prices will therefore remain high or continue to rise.
Although Africa only accounted for 11% of global production, this is set to grow as new players are attracted by these favourable indicators. The Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) based in Netherlands has also mentioned that Industry sources predict that African Countries will become more important suppliers in the next ten years. We should poise ourselves to take advantage of this emerging opportunity.
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