NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 25 – Horticultural farms in Kenya are losing up to Sh250 million a day, owing to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, which has shut down supply chains around the world.
This is according to Kenya Flower Council Director Clement Tulezi who told the AFP that the country’s 170 horticultural farms were running seriously low on cash.
The Director said in Europe, which is the lead exporter of roses, people are only worried about immediate needs such as food and safety in terms of health, with luxuries such as flowers becoming forgotten.
He added that the bans on social gatherings like weddings or funerals have contributed to a fall in demand for flowers.
The industry employs some 150,000 people, indirectly supporting four million people, according to the Kenya Flower Council.
Tulezi said the industry is discussing relief measures with the government such as delaying tax payments or early payment of VAT refunds.
In the meantime, he is worried about the “social impact, the loss of jobs … poverty increasing, hunger levels increasing.”