Flower prices in Kenya have more than doubled during this year’s Valentine’s season due to a shortage of the commodity caused by heavy rains that destroyed the flowers late last year.
Firms dealing in flowers have registered a 60 percent drop in production this season following heavy rains in a season that was plagued by pests and diseases, which in turn hurt supplies.
Rains ended late in January and growers said they required at least 14 weeks to grow new roses, derailing chances of the new flowers being ready for Valentine’s Day.
As a result, a bouquet of flowers that was selling at Sh700 [7 USD] last year is now retailing at Sh1,500 [15 USD] with buyers complaining of difficulties in getting the stems from farms.
“The industry is grappling with a 60 percent decline in production following heavy rains that impacted negatively on flowers last year,” said Mary Kinyua, the general manager at Oserian Flower farm.