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Kenya's flower production rises to 130,000 tonnes in 2014

19 October 2015, 16:07

Nairobi - Kenya's flower production increased to 130,000 tonnes in 2014 worth 530 million U.S. dollars from 120,000 tonnes worth 447 million dollars in 2013, officials said on Monday.

Latest statistics from the industry regulator, the Kenya Flower Council (KFC) the East African nation is ranked third after world leading producers Columbia and Ecuador.

"The country's flower growth has risen from zero to seven percent in the global market in around 15 years," Ngige said during the launch of a new flower chemical Luna Tranquility by Bayer company in Naivasha, about 90 km northwest of Kenya.

She said the sector had experienced growth in the last couple of years despite facing various challenges.

Ngige attributed the gradual rise to good farming practices by farmers, adding that the image of the sector had changed positively in the last couple of years.

Despite the rise in flower production, Ngige said the sector was facing a groom future due to increased challenges with projections of a drop in production in the coming year.

She said the market excess and the fluctuation in currencies mainly the U.S. dollar was adversely affecting nearly all the flower farmers.

"Flower farmers procure through the dollar which is not stable but we get the returns through the Euro which is currently relaxed," she said.

Ngige identified other challenges as expected El Nino rains and the high tax regime from the county and national governments. She said that they expected the coming rains to cause damage to infrastructure and lead to an increase in flower diseases.

"The coming year will be a difficult one due to the many challenges facing the sector and if we can hit last year's target then we shall be comfortable with that," she said.

Bayer Head of Marketing in East Africa John Kanyingi noted that the new product could contain mild dew disease.

He said the mild disease was responsible for 40 percent of cost of production, adding that with the new product this could drop to around 20 percent.

"The mild dew disease was developing resistance but the Luna Tranquility will address that as flower farmers spend 70 percent of their budget in dealing with diseases," he said.

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- Xinhua

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