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Kenya: PJ Dave Group expands greenhouse acreage
Photos are of the farm Rising Sun in Timau. (The same greenhouse is being constructed at PJ Flowers in Isinya.)
Demand direct market
According to Group General Manager of PJ Dave Group S. Thirumalai, the reason for expanding the farm is the demand from the direct market, which he has seen increasing over the last years. "We used to supply around 30 percent direct and 70 through the auction. Now, it is 85 percent direct and 15 percent auction", he says. And the demand from the direct market is still increasing and this made PJ Dave decide to expand the greenhouse acreage at their current farms.
At Rising Sun, roses are being grown on 34 ha at an altitude of 2500 meters above sea level. Currently, this farm is being expanded with 12 ha and this is because their customers asked for expansions on new varieties. "Earlier this year, we have sent new varieties to our customers and after seeing them, they asked us to plant them in larger amounts. So, the only way to comply with their request is to add hectares." Out of the 12 hectares 10 hectares are already completed. The remaining 2 will be completed before the end of the year.
PJ Dave Flowers
At their lower altitude farm PJ Dave Flowers in Isinya they are expanding too. The reason for this expansion is to grow roses with 5cm plus head sizes. "In Timau, we grow roses with 6cm plus and 6.5cm plus head sizes and here in Isinya, we grow 4.5 cm head sizes. We increasingly more often receive requests for supplying 5cm plus head sizes and we will now try to do it in this new 5 ha greenhouse with new varieties." The expansion will increase the total farm acreage in Isinya to 51 and also this expansion is planned to be completed before the end of the year.
Next to growing and exporting flowers, PJ Dave Group will also engage in another industry; Hass avocados. They are currently exporting avocados from Global GAP growers in Kenya, but from 2018 onward, they are planning to start their own farming of Hass avocados to the extent of 125 acres in Kenya.
S. Thirumalai at the IFTF 2017 in Vijfhuizen, the Netherlands. PJ Dave group has the exclusive right to grow the variety Rhodos.
For more information
PJ Dave Group
Author: Elita Vellekoop
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