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Bob Andersen, Mount Elgon Orchards:
Rose grower sounds alarm on global warming
"I have yet to meet a farmer who denies global warming. In Kenya alone, we have seen weather records broken every year for the past 5 years”, says grower Bob Andersen of Mount Elgon Orchards (The Elgon Collection), who grows roses in a 43ha farm in Kitale, Kenya. He sees the climate change as a very real threat, and is concerned about US President Trump denying it and withdrawing the US from the Paris Climate Agreement. "He should be asking farmers their opinion on global warming”.
Bob Andersen in the greenhouse.
According to Andersen, there is no doubt in his opinion that the world is warming up. "We have millions of icebergs in the world and show me one that is increasing in size", he says. "In Kenya, for example, we used to have a large glacier on Mount Kenya, but it has almost vanished in the past 20 years.
Andersen is experiencing climate change first hand. “It affects us both in terms of production and marketing, so we are acutely aware of the extremes of weather.”
Own contribution - rose cultivation
When asked about his own contribution, Andersen said: "Yes, we contribute to global warming, but let’s look at all the dimensions here. Our total airfreight costs are 25% of the costs of heating a greenhouse in Europe and we expect 95% self-sustaining power for production and cool chain management with our hydro electricity project."
With April as the wettest month on record, Andersen says: "I absolutely believe in global warming, and it is certainly going to make production and quality control in our industry more challenging in the future."
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