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Council scents revival of Kenya cut flower industry

Milliam Murigi @millymur1

Flower farmers in the country stand to rake in huge profits by increasing their flowers distribution locally.

According to Kenya Flower Council (KFC) CEO, Clement Tulezi local consumption of flower has risen recently as a result of changing dynamics in the economy in response to current consumer trends.

“Emergence of middle-class Kenyans has brought a lot of difference in this sector because the group has different appreciation when it comes to flowers. This is the group which is making the Kenyan flower market to flourish,” said Tulezi.

He said this new trend has attracted new smallholder farmers who are taking care of the emerging market, considering that most of the large-scale farms are exporting their flowers. The development has also led to increase of flower shops in the major towns.

“We have formed an association for local flower vendors so that we can discuss what we can do to improve the uptake of flowers locally.  We believe that in the next five years, five per cent of Kenyan flowers will be consumed locally,” he added.

Tulezi promised farmers that the country is highly focused to move out of selling flowers to international auctions to embrace direct sales considering that there are so many emerging markets in South Africa, the Far East, Russia and the UK.

“Direct market is becoming more attractive than auctioning market because of pricing. We are expanding to the new markets and still riding on the traditional market,” said Zakayo Magara, Horticultural Crop Directorate director.

Currently, approximately 50 per cent of exported flowers are sold through Dutch Auctions. Direct sales will be a viable idea considering that there are now more direct flights to the emerging countries. 

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