Kenya’s sales of macadamia nuts to the United States have soared in recent years, while textile exports have stagnated, according to new data on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). The US imported $52 mn (Sh5.2 bn) worth of macadamia nuts from Kenya last year, compared to $72,000 (in purchases of the same product in 2000, the US trade agency reported recently. The agency’s Agoa assessment describes the boom in Kenya’s macadamia sector as one of the “success stories” of the 18-year-old US preferential trade programme that covers most products from sub-Saharan Africa.x

Macadamia exports help support over 100,000 Kenyan small holders who, the US trade agency says, can “add thousands of dollars” to their incomes through sales of the nuts under Agoa. Although Kenya ranks as one of the leading African exporters of textiles and clothing to the US, sales have stagnated. Kenya exported about $340 mn in textiles and apparel to the US last year — slightly less than the sum for 2016, according to the South Africa-based Trade Law Centre, which tracks Agoa trends.