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Focus on the export potential in the Coastal Region
Introduction
Coast Province borders with Eastern Province to the West, Rift Valley to the West and North Eastern to the North East.  It also borders the Republic of Tanzania to the South, the Indian Ocean to the East and Somalia Republic to the North East.
The Province covers an area of 82,816 sq Km and it has a population projection of 3,031,878 million people (2008). Its density is 30 persons per sq km.
The rainfall pattern is bimodal, with long rains falling between April-July, and short rains occurring in November-December. Temperatures range between 23 oC - 34 oC along the Coastal Belt, though in the Taita Hills it could fall to as low as 18.2C.
These Climatic conditions support agricultural activities which is one of the dominant economic activity within the Province.
Other major economic activities include; Tourism, manufacturing, trade and fishing. Over 70% of the inhabitants are farmers.

Sector focus in relation to export potential

1. Service
Tourism: The warm temperatures in most parts of the region attract tourists making tourism the main stay of the economy in the Coastal region since it creates employment to thousands of residents in the hotel industry, tour operators, and suppliers among other local traders. Estimates indicate that approximately 300, 000 visitors visit the Coast annually.
The Port of Mombasa: The Coastal region is strategically placed hence advantaged by having the Port of Mombasa which is the 2nd largest port in Africa after Durban. The Port of Mombasa is the gateway to East Africa, the COMESA region and beyond, thus facilitating both export and import trade through the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).
Logistics, Clearing and Forwarding Services: Given the Port, various service providers in Logistics, Clearing and Forwarding firms enable smooth facilitation of both export and import trade through the Port of Mombasa. These business opportunities due to the Port of Mombasa attract not only local companies but also foreign investors e.g. Logwin AG, a Logistics Service Provider which has established a local subsidiary with offices in Mombasa and Nairobi. (Daily Nation, 14th Oct. 2010, p 24
2.Horticulture/Agriculture & Livestock
In the Coastal climate is good for most agricultural produce. In the region, agriculture is majorly practised at subsistence level by small scale farmers. However, there is great potential for cash crop farming for exports hence the need for its promotion, such as in Cashew nuts, Coconuts, Mangoes, Citrus, Bananas and vegetables. Some companies have contracted farmers to plant chillies for processing, passion fruit for processing juice and fruit concentrates, and fresh mangoes, all for export. Some of these companies are clients of the Export Promotion Council.

In order to engage small scale farmers to compete favourably in the horticulture export market, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has given funding through Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness Project (KHCP) of about Kshs 2.56 Billion to target the following crops for export. Farmers in Mombasa among other areas in the Country will be assisted to increase their productivity. (Daily Nation, 14th Oct. 2010, p 26).
o Fruits: mango, avocado, passion fruit, banana
o Vegetables: Export peas, beans, chillies, tomato, onion, kale, butternut
o Tubers: Sweet potatoes and Irish potatoes
o Nuts and foods: Cashew nuts, dried chillies, essential oils
o Flowers: Outdoor summer flowers for small holders.

3. Manufacturing
There are quite a number of manufacturing firms in the Coastal Region some of which are registered as EPZs under the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA). About 91 manufacturing companies are registered under the Kenya Association of Manufactures (KAM) Coast Chapter. Their activities span from Food & Beverage production, services, mining & construction, textiles and apparels, plastic and rubber, metal and allied, paper and board, motor vehicle and accessories, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.

4. Commercial Crafts
There are a number of organisations, SMEs, youth and women groups who are engaged in Commercial Crafts some as exporters selling on order basis and others as local entrepreneurs selling to tourists. Some of the organizations and groups, majorly SMEs, engaged in making textiles and garments, household items and upholstery, African jewellery, leather and leather products, wooden carvings, articles from soap stones and basketry, are clients of the Export Promotion Council who have benefited from export leads, trainings and product development.
The Coastal Region which is endowed with Coconut Palm trees offering SMEs a variety of raw materials along the Coconut value chain for making artefacts for both the local and the export markets. The Coir (husk) from the coconut tree can be used for making coir door mats, coir ropes, brushes, floor tiles, sacking to mention a few. A major proportion of brown coir pads is sprayed with rubber latex, which bonds the fibres together (rubberised coir) in upholstery padding in the automobile industry in Europe. Through The Kenya Coconut Development Authority (KCDA), the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) commenced development of quality standards for various coconut products.
 
 
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