Lawrence Mukundi, Orgem Flora Ltd:

"Long stems make Kenyan hydrangeas stand out"

Orgem Flora Ltd, a new farm growing hydrangea cut flowers on 8ha of land expects to make its first shipment of flowers to Europe, among other destinations, in two years. According to Lawrence Mukundi, Orgem Flora Ltd owner, Kenyan hydrangeas stand a better chance in the market compared to others due to their characteristically long stems with moderate sizes of bloom.


Kelvin Mbugua and Lawrence Ngugi at the IFTEX in Nairobi, Kenya.

“One of the reasons why I ventured into this is because in Kenya we are at an advantage, since we can grow hydrangeas all year round, there are no seasons, and we can supply the flower throughout the year. The fact that also our hydrangeas can achieve 80cm long thin stems is another advantage that always makes the buyer choose us first. On the other hand, our petals also remain intact during transit,” explains Mukundi.



Mukundi who attests to his love for flowers, says he ventured into hydrangea growing owing to its versatility. With hydrangeas, it is easy to get as many shades as you can, all you need is to alter the soil PH. The flower is also easy to propagate according to Mukundi.



One of the challenges, Orgem has had to grapple with is looking for an alternative source of water as the flower requires a lot of water to grow. “We have been forced to drill a borehole and treat the water to get a neutral water PH. This is arduous and as we speak work is in progress. Capital was and is still an issue. The approval process is long and the wait needs patience and focus. Our mother plants need 28 weeks before accreditation. That means we will be in business 12 weeks into next year,” adds Mukundi.



Russia, Switzerland and china are Orgem Flora Ltd’s top export targets so far.
From their little research, Mukundi says the demand for Kenyan hydrangeas can only get better and it is against this backdrop that Orgem plans to expand its farm’s acreage with time. “Based on the inquiries we have received so far we can confirm that demand is good and the prices are also fair. We would however, like to first grow on a small scale basis until we tighten all growth husbandry issues, gain confidence in the market then we will think of expanding. We are also ready to grow another breed from interested breeders/growers but for a fee,” adds Mukundi.



For more information
Orgen Flora Ltd
Lawrence Mukundi
Email: lawrence.muthondu@gmail.com
Phone: +254 729 875 491
www.orgem.co.ke


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