, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 10 – For every 10 flower stems that will be sold in Europe on Valentine’s Day this Sunday, three will be from Kenya.
Giving an update of the flower sector in the country on Wednesday, Kenya Flower Council (KFC) chief executive Jane Ngige says things looks upbeat and the sector is confident of making 30 percent of its sales this year, on Valentine’s Day alone.
“By today or tomorrow the orders which are mostly for export will have arrived in their destinations. Locally, we also expect higher volumes despite the Valentine’s date coming on a weekend and Sunday for that matter,” Ngige says.
“Though there are no local statistics, the domestic flower business is doing extremely well as the campaign to promote a local culture for flowers continues to be amplified leading to a rise in local consumption of flowers,” she added.
At the moment, she says, Kenya is commanding a market share of 38 percent in the EU, making it the third largest exporter of cut flowers in the world.
Approximately 50 percent of exported flowers are sold through the Dutch auctions especially in Holland, although direct sales are growing. In the United Kingdom, supermarkets are the main retail outlets.
She says Kenyan flowers remain a preference to many, mainly for being long lasting attributed to growing under good sunny climate, which enables high-quality blossoms to be grown throughout the year.
“There are four places in the world where you can grow flowers well and Kenya happens to be one of them. Our flowers are known for being long lasting,” she says.
In total, Kenya has over 60 destinations which will be enjoying her quality flowers which include Japan, Russia and USA among others.
Over 25percent of exported flowers are delivered directly to these destinations, providing an opportunity for value addition at source through sleeving, labelling and bouquet production.
The main production areas remain around Lake Naivasha, Mt. Kenya, Nairobi, Thika, Kiambu, Athi River, Kitale, Nakuru, Kericho, Nyandarua, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu and Eastern Kenya.