Kenya to meet flower export targets despite unrest

Updated: 2008-02-13 16:20

NAIROBI - The Kenyan flower growers and traders are optimistic in meeting their export targets of the upcoming Valentine's Day and Mother's Day, despite the devastating post-election chaos last month, an officer of Kenya Flower Council said on Tuesday.

"The flower industry in Kenya has managed to contain the storm and the farmers will meet their targets during the current high season," Jane Ngige, CEO of Kenya Flower Council, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview Tuesday.

P. K. Sondhi, general manager of Magana Flowers Kenya Ltd., also told reporters that his farm had basically fulfilled most export orders from Europe, though the domestic market was affected by the drop of demand.

"The overseas markets by all means have the priority in our overall business, due to the long-term partnership with auctioneers and wholesalers in Europe," Sondhi added.

Magana Flowers is one of the industry leaders in Kenya, which is Africa's leading exporter of cut flowers, providing 32 percent of all stems that the European Union imports annually.

The tribal clashes in the area of Lake Naivasha, however, raised concerns over the promising flower industry in the country, when other major economic sectors were seriously affected.

"Prior to January 27, all flower farms as well as trading businesses were not challenged at all," Ngige said, "but the negative impact of the crisis was mainly felt when chaos reached the shores of Naivasha, the major flower growing region."

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