A trade agreement between Kenya and UK that seeks to craft a new relationship post-Brexit has been made public revealing benefits for both countries.

The deal will allow over 4 million Kenyan youths and women working in the agricultural sector to keep their jobs as the UK hopes to increase demand for Kenya’s agricultural products.

The shipments of horticultural products from Kenya to the European Union were partially halted in March 2020 after the European capital enforced lockdowns, and Kenya suspended international flights.

The decision affected thousands of employees from this sector considering that the European Union takes over 80% of Kenya’s horticultural produce.

UK firms on the other hand will continue to export duty-free goods into Kenya as UK opens additional markets for Kenya’s agricultural products.

However, agriculture and some industrial products from the UK will not enjoy the duty-free deal, will see Kenya use the UK markets as one of its major agricultural products export destinations.

A flower farm at Karuturi, Naivasha during its fruitful days, before closure in 2014
A flower farm at Karuturi, Naivasha during its fruitful days, before closure in 2014

Through the trade agreement, the government is targeting to establish value addition for Kenyan agriculture products and in the process promote industrial development in Kenya.

The pact is expected to last for 25 years but a review will be conducted occasionally to determine the deal’s impact.

The partnership allows for gradual and partial reduction of tariffs from some products exported to Kenya from the UK.

Kenya signed the deal after the UK exited from the European Union giving it an opportunity to trade largely with other countries.

The CS emphasized the benefit Kenyans will have from the deal despite allowing the UK to export duty-free products in Kenya.

“Kenya is offering to open 82.6 percent of the value of total trade to the UK over an extended transition period constituting only raw materials, capital goods, intermediate products, and all other goods,” Betty said.

In 2019, Kenya made additional agriculture exports worth over Ksh 10 billion to the UK market but the value reduced in 2020 due to the effects of Covid-19.

Some of the products expected in the country include vehicles, machinery, printed books, papers and paperboards,  beverages, and vinegar.

Traders and customers pictured at a market in Kenya.
Traders and customers pictured at a market in Kenya.