For Online E-newspaper
Daily Nation : February 27th 2014
32 | Business News AGRICULTURE | Farmers ready for planting A tractor ploughs a rice paddy in Mwea, Kirinyaga County yesterday in readiness for planting. Growers have reduced their activities due to falling water levels in rivers Nyamindi and Thiba. JOSEPH KANYI | NATION HORTICULTURE | DAILY NATION Thursday February 27, 2014 Industry moves to ensure stable earnings Flower firms scout for fresh markets Sector targets Korea, Japan and Russia ahead of signing of Economic Partnership Agreements later this year BY YVONNE KAWIRA @YvonneKawira email@example.com K enya’s blossoming flower sector is now pursuing new markets ahead of the long awaited signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement later in October. According to the chief ex- ecutive of the Kenya Flower Council Jane Ngige, the industry has earned Sh46 billion from exports last year and is promising a further increase if some of the difficulties are addressed. “We are calling on the government to create an enabling environment and clear the anxiety that has been caused by non-conforming to the EPA with the European Union,” said Ms Ngige. The flower industry is now scouting for other markets in Korea, Japan and Russia markets to cushion the farmers from the risk posed by uncertainty surrounding the EPA. The European Union is the main export market for all the East Africa Community member states, particularly Kenya whose 23 per cent of total sales in 2012 went there. A marketing officer at the Horticultural Crops Development Authority, Ms Grace Kyallo, said there has been positive response from Russia and Japan which show a flowery future in increasing the market share for the industry. SALATON NJAU | DAILY NATION Kenya Flower Council chief executive Jane Ngige (left) and Horticultural Crops Development Authority acting managing director Grace Kyalo during a media briefing on the International Flower Trade Expo to take place in June at the Oshwal Centre, Nairobi. The briefing was at the Jacaranda Hotel yesterday. “Although there are require- ments from Japan to fumigate flowers exported there and which is achievable, there are other promising markets like Russia whose high demand is for the big headed roses,” said Ms Kyallo. This comes ahead of the annual International Flower Trade Exhibition which aims at bringing together buyers and sellers from across the globe. According to the head of HPP Exhibitions Hoplland, Mr Dick Raamsdonk, the fair which is scheduled for June 4 to 6 this year, has placed Kenya at the third position in the world’s largest exhibitions. “Kenya comes third after Ecuador and Columbia, which means that the flower sector is growing at a very high rate,” said Mr Raamsdonk. Last year, the Kenya flower industry kicked off a campaign aiming at developing a framework of the way the industry conducts its business, in a move meant to attain optimum returns from exports. We are calling on the government to create an enabling environment and clear anxiety,” Flower council chief executive Jane Ngige Billions of shillings that the flower industry earned the country last year and is promising a further increase if some of the difficulties are addressed. 46 Coffee growers in bid to boost prices BY NATION CORRESPONDENT Coffee producers in Meru County have teamed up to boost returns by processing and marketing their the crop in bulk. The 53 cooperative societies and about 100 private coffee estates, have formed the Meru County coffee millers’ cooperatives union and leased the local Kenya Planters Cooperative Union milling facility for the next five years. Union chairman David Gikunda said they had al- ready received Sh5 million seed capital from the county government to kick off the process today. Mr Gikunda said the move is intended to ensure all coffee produced in the county is processed and roasted in bulk and auctioned there, to ensure higher earnings. He said the facility was currently receiving coffee and had invited roasters from Europe who are expected to start buying coffee directly from Meru. Mr Gikunda said the county government had also set aside some money that will be used to educate farmers the benefits of collective milling. He said they had embarked on an ambitious programme to boost production to 50 million kilogrammes by ensuring all existing coffee bushes produce at least 10 kilogramme per season. Mr Gikunda said new bushes had matured and were expected to boost production. Last year, coffee produc- tion plunged to nine million kilogrammes from 16 million kilogrammes the previous season due to draught that saw coffee attacked by aphids.
February 26th 2014
February 28th 2014