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Kenyan flower sector upbeat

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Kenya’s horticulture industry is dispelling fears that the sector may be affected by the euro crisis in Europe arguing the situation was improving in their favour.

The sector, which is heavily dependent on exports to European markets, has come under radar over the last few months with the weakening of the euro.

Speaking to Capital Business, Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK) Chief Executive Officer Dr Stephen Mbithi said while the situation was dire when the Euro slumped to Sh90 during the high season, there were signs of recovery.

“We were a bit worried when it went down but we are seeing that the euro is slowly strengthening. At the time it was low we were having a hard time paying for inputs because of the currency fluctuations,” Dr Mbithi said. 

The sector is currently in its low season as farms in Europe are able to produce much of their flowers and vegetables in the heat of summer.

Dr Mbithi is optimistic the current euro-shilling trade of Sh106 as of close of business on Tuesday, would be sustained to the end of October when the high season cycle begins.

Financial analysts had predicted tough times for the sector due to reduced consumer demand.

“We expect that sectors dependent on the euro zone for markets to be impacted as recovery there remains sluggish,” CfC Financial Service Head of Research Judd Murugi said on Monday.

Dr Mbithi however said FPEAK is in talks with its major markets and expects steady exports from the end of October.

About 72 percent of Kenya\’s horticulture exports are paid for in euros, while 25 percent are paid in British pounds, and three percent in dollars.

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