Flower industry in Kenya push for increased cargo capacity ahead of Valentine’s Day

The flower industry has raised the alarm over high freight charges and reduced cargo space that could deny them the chance to make money from the lucrative Valentine’s period. Kenya Flower Council (KFC) chief executive Clement Tulezi said the sector was heading to the peak season, especially in the month of February with the issues of cargo space being an Achilles heel.

“The only alternative is to use chartered flights but the charges are prohibitive, leaving the sector players in a catch-22 situation,” noted Mr. Tulezi. He revealed that the charge for a kilo of flowers was about Sh600 across the board, saying the rates were unaffordable.

“The market prices have remained constant over a long period with the freight charges tripling.” He said that the current cargo capacity was only 70 tonnes a week, against the harvested 5,000 tonnes weekly. “The tonnage being exported weekly is a drop in the ocean and a detriment to the vibrant sector,” said Mr. Tulezi.

He said the demand for flowers, especially in the European market was on the rise, regretting that the cargo capacity had greatly reduced. Mr. Tulezi was warned that if the current crisis was not addressed, flower growers were likely to destroy 30 percent of the harvested flowers.

Read the complete article at www.businessdailyafrica.com.

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