KENYA – Kenya has signed an agreement with the Commissioner General of the Expo 2023 Doha, Bader Omar Al Dafa, for an avenue to showcase their products at the Doha International Horticultural Expo hosted by Qatar this year.

During the announcement, Kenya’s Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi assured Kenyan horticultural sector players that his Ministry is eager to assist entrepreneurs in expanding the export market in line with President William Ruto’s Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA).

“During my visit, I conducted bilateral meetings with investors from Qatar who are interested in investing in Kenya’s horticultural sector. I also appealed to the Qatari government to lift the ban on importing livestock and meat products from Kenya to boost our local meat industry,” says Linturi.

According to FAO, Kenya’s horticultural sector plays a crucial role in the country’s economy, contributing 33% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employing more than 40% of the total population, especially in rural areas.

As outlined by Linturi, Qatar is thus, considered a potential market for Kenyan horticulture exports, and Kenya is keen on tapping into this opportunity through the horticultural expo.

Scheduled to commence on October 2, 2023, the Expo will run for an impressive 179 days of celebrations, concluding on March 28, 2024.

The event aims to attract over 3 million visitors locally and internationally, with pavilions from almost 80 countries, and NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations), who will get a chance to explore exquisitely landscaped gardens and experience cultures from around the world.

Expo 2023 Doha themed “Green Desert, Better Environment”   is set to make history as the first A1 International Horticultural Exhibition in Qatar, the Middle East, and North Africa.

It aims to promote sustainable innovations and combat desertification inspiring visitors to participate in the transformation within topics on Modern Agriculture, Technology and Innovation, Environmental Awareness, Sustainability.

Furthermore, in another report by the Peninsula, Qatar achieved many goals of its food security strategy during 2021, as the local production of vegetables jumped from about 66,000 tons to over 103,000 tons, attaining a self-sufficiency rate of 41%.

The target self-sufficiency rate in 2023 is 70% of local vegetables. The self-sufficiency rate of local dates has also increased to 86% now, and it is expected that the percentage will reach 95% by 2023, outlines the report.