KENYA – The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KNCCI) has established an operational office in China to tap into the burgeoning demand for mushrooms in the vast Chinese market, estimated at KES 90 billion (USD 585.5 million) annually.

This move was orchestrated by KNCCI as a strategy for local businesses to explore export markets in the face of a weakening shilling.

Following the establishment of the operational office in China, KNCCI has secured export orders totaling KES 280 million (USD 1.82 million) within the first two months.

Vice president Mustafa Ramadhan envisions this initiative as a potential remedy for a positive balance of trade, aiming for a trade surplus where exports surpass imports.

“The demand for mushrooms is around Sh90 billion per year… we have agreed with them, and we have carefully selected 12 people to go and train people on farming of mushrooms that can grow in all weather conditions,” Ramadhan said.

“So, someone from those trainers will be coming to this region to train people on how to grow mushrooms and take advantage of the Sh90 billion market,” he said.

Ramadhan expressed optimism, revealing plans to send selected individuals for specialized training in mushroom farming.

With mushrooms adaptable to diverse weather conditions, these trained individuals will then impart their knowledge locally, opening doors to a substantial market share.

Assuring support for farmers venturing into this sector, Ramadhan affirmed KNCCI’s commitment to securing funding for budding mushroom cultivators.

Meanwhile, KNCCI Mombasa chapter chair Abudh Jamal underscored collaborative efforts with national and county governments to enhance the business environment amid challenging economic conditions.

KNCCI is actively partnering with donors and stakeholders to provide crucial support in terms of capital and capacity building.

“We are involved in a lot of lobbying and advocacy. We are working with a lot of partners and donors to see how we can support them in terms of capital and capacity building in these harsh economic times. They also need a lot of training so that they can be resilient,” he noted.

According to a report by the National Farmers Information Service (NAFIS), the annual demand for mushrooms in Kenya is 1,200 tons, yet only 500 tons are available.

This indicates that there is also a huge local market for mushrooms in Kenya. The report also states that mushroom farming is a profitable venture, with the retail pricing of mushrooms further highlighting its profitability. 

Globally, Grand View Research reports that the mushroom market size was valued at USD 50.3 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.7% from 2022 to 2030.

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