Coco peat is used by the well-developed agricultural sector in Kenya for soil preparations. The Sri Lankan coco peat manufacturers used a unique preparation method as requested by the Kenyan users which convinced them that the Sri Lankan product is of high quality compared to what they are using currently. Kenya’s total annual import capacity of coco peat stands at 10,000mt, which guarantees a sustainable export trend of this product from Sri Lanka to Kenya.
The efforts of Sri Lanka and Kenya to increase economic activities between the two countries had received further impetus during the visit of minister of Development Co-ordination and Monitoring and state minister of Digital Technology and Enterprise Development Namal Rajapaksa to Kenya in October, 2021.
Although, the bilateral relations have reached over 50 years of friendship and cooperation, the trade relations have not realised its true potential. With that in mind, Rajapaksa focused on creating a prospective new product basket to trade with Kenya. This has culminated in Sri Lanka, securing the first ever export deal of coco peat from Sri Lanka to Kenya.
As a follow up to the visit by Rajapaksa, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Kenya Veluppillai Kananathan approached several coco peat importers in Kenya and succeeded in arranging with a company named Mayleen Kenya Limited to import the first consignment of coco peat from Sri Lanka.
Kenya being the economic, financial and transport hub of East Africa, offers lucrative conditions for trade, investment, tourism and many economic activities to the world. Sri Lanka’s export value in 2019 was US$24mn, limiting to a few products such as knitted or crocheted fabrics, cartons, boxes, packaging materials, staple fibres etc. Rajapaksa observed that there was a huge potential for trade expansion between Sri Lanka and Kenya. Kananathan also participated and contributed to developing an action plan to turn a new leaf in the trade relations between the two countries.
Kananathan also joined Rajapaksa at the flagging off of the maiden shipping of coco peat export consignment to Kenya at the Port of Colombo. While in Sri Lanka, Kananathan met several exporters to explore the possibilities of potential new commodities that could be exported to Kenya.