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Kenya: Milele Flowers to double summer flower acreage
Some of the summer flowers of Milele Flowers.
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 C.E.O 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."
gypsophila of Milele Flowers.
Rising demand, even from Russia
Due to this high popularity, the worldwide demand is increasing and according to Macharia 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 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.
Increasing production capacity
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. "Currently, we already have a few acres of land which we can use short term," he says.
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