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Kenyan grower to double summer flower acreage

  • Kenyan grower to double summer flower acreage

    by Market Insider

    Friday, 24 Jul. 2015

    The global flower market is as dynamic as it sounds, where companies, which are flexible enough to keep up with its dynamism, make it. The demand and supply facets of this market will always set ripples across the supply chain, thereby dictating flexibility in terms of embracing the dynamism and finding a viable operation criterion that will meet the desired results.

    The demand for summer flowers from Kenya, for example, is high and has always shown an upward trend over the years. "Every day, it is a challenge for every CEO of a globally renowned company to meet this high demand that the global market requires at a given time. But as a company, we believe we have to go the extra mile to meet future demands, which is expected to double or triple in five years' time," says John Macharia of Milele Flowers.

    For this reason Milele Flowers are planning to double their summer flower production in terms of acreage and resource mobilization in the coming years.

    According to Macharia, the popularity of summer flowers is high all over the world. "A couple of years ago, Kenyan roses and spray roses were in high demand. Now many people are recognizing and appreciating the beauty and quality of summer flowers which serves as an incentive to us," says Macharia. The most popular variety is the gypsophila. "This flower can be used in many floral arrangements and bouquets."

    Due to this high popularity, the worldwide demand is increasing and this is also the case for Russia. "Actually, Russia is one of our main export markets. And of course, just like many other growers, we've had some difficulties regarding the devaluation of the ruble etc., but we cannot complain. Even there the demand for summer flowers is high. They love them," he says.

    As Macharia expects this demand from Russia to increase, he hopes the Kenyan Flower Council will engage the Government and relevant authorities to create a direct freight line from Kenya to Russia in the future. "This will enhance the quality of our flowers. Now, the flowers do not go directly to Russia. They are shipped to the Netherlands, and from there on, they go by truck to Russia. This trip has an impact on the quality of our flowers and we lose competitiveness from other countries."

    At the moment, Milele Flowers grows 22 different varieties on 10 acres of land. All flowers are grown in open field. "We do not use a greenhouse and from a financial perspective it is cheaper to grow in open field unlike when they are grown in a greenhouse. Besides that, the three most prevalent pests can be easily controlled through biological crop protection products and nets," says Macharia.

    In the coming years, Milele Flowers is planning to double its current summer flowers acreage. "In a couple of years, it will be challenging to meet the demand anymore, so we will expand the company with another 10 acres. This additional 10 acres will consist of 5 acres of gypsophila and a variety of summer flowers on the other 5 acres.

    Source: Floral Daily / Milele Flowers

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