Agriculture export permits decline as pandemic slows global economy
Lewis Njoka @LewisNjoka
The number of import and export permits applied for in the agriculture sector declined significantly in the 2019/20 financial year compared to the previous year, data from Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) single window system shows.
KenTrade is the government agency mandated with facilitating cross-border trade, including managing the single window system.
Data from the agency shows that the number of import permits applied in financial year 2019/20 declined by 15.7 per cent (116,522) to stand at 626,394 down from 742,916 the previous year.
Request for import permits made to the Kenya Revenue Authority declined by more than 127,000 while those made via the Kenya Port Health Services declined by close to 10,000.
Import permits requested via the Kenya Plant Health inspectorate, however, defied the trend to post a rise of 10,020 up from 3,456 in 2018/2019.
The number of export permits applied declined by 4.4 per cent (591) to stand at 12,795 down from 13,386 in 2018/2019 financial year, according to the KenTrade data.
Businesses seeking permits to export nuts and oils declined to 232 down from 318 the previous financial year.
Significant decline in the number of people seeking export permits was also recorded in the fisheries department and Pharmacies and Poisons board, among others.
Senior economics lecturer at University of Nairobi Samuel Nyandemo attributed the decline to Covid-19 pandemic, saying it had affected the pace of production reducing the amount of goods available to trade in.
“This is simply because of the economic lockdown which negatively impacted on the international mobility of goods and services resulting in permits being sought at a slow pace,” he said.