Kenyan flower companies are meeting the current high demand for flowers despite experiencing fertiliser delays last year.
The first quarter of every year is the peak season for flowers in Europe and Kenyan exporters, the biggest supplies to the region, pull out all stops to meet the demand.
There were fears that this year the demand may outstrip supply due to the delays in releasing fertiliser at the port. The industry has, however, emerged unscathed with exporters meeting Europe’s demand.
The sector also performed well last year. The Kenya Flower Council (KFC) said despite challenges arising from fertiliser delays, the sector posted good performance in 2018. Flowers recorded the highest earnings at Sh93 billion of the total horticulture industry revenue last year, followed by vegetables at Sh22 billion then fruits at Sh11 billion.
Last year, the Kenya Bureau of Standards held 1.6 million tonnes of fertiliser at the Mombasa port as they waited to be inspected. Some 750,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser were also held up at the Elgon Kenya warehouse while 880,000 tonnes were stuck at a store in Yala.
However, flower companies overcame the problem by buying larger quantities of fertiliser in the last quarter of last year, as traders and farmers prepared to meet the peak demand in the first quarter of this year.