Kenya’s flower industry is returning to business as some flower farms in Naivasha recently reopened.
This follows the reopening of the Dutch Auction and a number of other European supermarkets, which shut down at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. The auction is reportedly the main market for Kenya’s flower exports
Furthermore, an increase in cargo flights by Kenya Airways has seen farmers increase their flower shipments to Europe by 50% in the last two weeks.
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According to Jack Kneppers, the owner of Maridadi flower farm, they are only disposing about 20% of their produce, down from 80% during the height of the pandemic.
In mid April, the Kenya Flower Council reported that the demand for cut flowers in the international market had begun to rise, with export demands hitting almost 3,500 tons per week.
The flower industry is among Kenya’s largest foreign exchange earners, and is the world’s 4th largest flower exporter. It has created jobs for close to 150,000 people. In 2018 alone, cut flowers earned the country KSh113 billion.
The horticulture sector in Kenya reported that in March alone, it incurred a net loss of KSh8 billion ($75.4 million) as a result of the adverse effects of COVID-19.