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China taking share of Kenya's flower industry

22 April 2015, 09:35 Anne Mutinda

Nakuru - The Chinese are planning to invest in Kenya’s flower industry, cutting into a sector dominated by investors from European countries.

Kamau Njuguna, chairman of the Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry Nakuru Chapter, says the Asian investors  would put up to KES 2.8 billion in the new catch.

“They want to grow flowers to export to China and Japan,” said Njuguna.

He said they would also put their money in fish and sisal farming, creating jobs for the locals.

Kenya competes with Colombia and Israel in exportation of the flowers to the EU.

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It takes the largest share of 38 percent of the total exports according to the Kenya Flower Council.

Despite a last year’s temporary shake up in the sector following a three-month exemption of the country from the duty-free exports to EU, sale of flowers to the respective countries grew.

Recent statistics from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) indicate that 114,762 metric tonnes of cut flowers were exported last year against the 103,779 metric tonnes in 2013.

This translated to a rise in the collection of the flower’s foreign exchange revenue by 43 million dollars.

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