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Gladys Muthoka, Magnate Flowers:

Kenya: 80% less sales due to Ramadan and summer period

July till mid-August are off-season months for many cut flower growers, also for Magnate Flowers, a Kenyan flower farm that mainly cultivates calla lilies, amaranthus and other summer flowers in a 3ha sized greenhouse and on 8ha open field. "The summer period in Europe combined with the holy month of Ramadan in the Middle East resulted in a 80% drop in sales and a 50-70% drop in prices," explains Gladys Muthoka of Magnate Flowers.

The team of Magnate Flowers in front of their Amaranthus Cyclop Maroon at the IFTEX in Nairobi, Kenya.

Holy month and summer period
The main export markets of Magnate Flowers are mainly the Middle east and Europe. "The demand and prices in the Middle East were the lowest as no flowers were bought in the holy month of Ramadan, which took place from June 18 till July 17." This in combination with the summer period in Europe resulted in a decrease of 80% in sales. In general, on all markets, the prices decreased in the last months. The prices for our calla lilies for example decreased by 50% in Europe and about 70% in the Middle East, in this period." explains Muthoka.

Cut production by 80%
From July till mid-August, is considered as off-season. According to Gladys, the prices and sales usually decrease during this period. For this reason, Magnate Flowers Ltd often decreases their production in advance to avoid making a lot of losses during this off-season period. It takes about three months for our flowers to mature after planting, so we have to anticipate on the sales decline three months prior to the off–season period. As we also expected this sales drop, we planted 80% less flowers last May."

Prices up by next week
Fortunately, the Middle Eastern and European market is picking up now. Gladys expects the prices and demand to increase by next week. "From next week, up to December, we expect to sell a lot of flowers for better prices," she says. Currently, the greenhouse and open field area of Magnate Flower is full of flowers. "We started planting for the new season from June and we will continue to plant new flowers at an interval of three weeks in every month till we start the off-season again in the coming year."

For more information
Magnate Flowers Ltd
Gladys Muthoka
Email: [email protected]