Sachin Appachu, Bliss Flora

Kenya: Nakuru high altitude farms hit by heavy rains

Low supply and an upcoming holiday. This combination often results in higher prices and this is exactly what Kenyan rose grower Sachin Appachu of Bliss Flora is hoping for. Currently, heavy rains in Nakuru are decreasing the production volumes at many high altitude farms in the region and with All Saints nearing, the prices might shoot up next week. Hopefully, it will remain calm during the re-elections next week as unrest affected flower shipments during the elections ten years ago.


Sachin Appachu at the IFTEX 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Drop in production
According to Appachu, it started to rain yesterday. "Especially in the Nakuru area and the high altitude farms in particular have had some terrible rains and even hail, which damaged some farms in the area. Fortunately, our farm, which is also a high altitude farm (2,400 meters above sea level) is not damaged, but the rains resulted in a production decrease. Our production, for example decreased by 20 to 25 percent", he says. And the rains are expected to continue. "In the next 3 to 4 days, more rain is forecasted and if there is no sun, I expect the volumes to decrease even further, to 30 to 35 percent."

All Saints
Appachu mainly supplies auctions in the Netherlands and he hopes the combination of low volumes and a holiday like All Saints will result in a sharp increase in prices. "Usually, the auction prices increase by around 10 to 15 percent during All Saints, but now, the supply at the auction will be lower as many high altitude crops are affected by the rains. Many low altitude farms are pruning or have just finished pruning for Christmas and on top of that, the majority of these farms are supplying the supermarket chains. All in all, this means lower volumes on the auction, so hopefully an increase in price."

Re-elections
However, the re-elections in Kenya that are being held on October 26, might throw a spanner in the works. Many still have the unrest in their minds that arose after the elections 10 years ago, where flower trade also suffered with flights being cancelled and production stagnated. "We are waiting for re-elections to go through peacefully and a stable government is at the center."


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