Kenya says war in Ukraine has dimmed flowers export

The ongoing war in Ukraine has negatively impacted Kenya's flowers export, the industry lobby said. Clement Tulezi, CEO of Kenya Flower Council (KFC) said that orders for cut flowers and ornamental plants to Russia and Ukraine have been canceled since Feb. 24 when the conflict began.

"We have not been able to ship flowers and our fear is that we could lose the market if the Russia-Ukraine crisis is not resolved," Tulezi said. Tulezi observed that over 70 percent of flower exports are sold to the European Union mostly through the Dutch flower auction. "Our other key markets include Japan, Australia, China and the Middle East region," he added.

He noted that flower growers, who were dependent on the Russian and Ukraine markets, are seeking alternative markets in order to remain afloat.

Ojepat Okisegere, CEO of Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya, said that flower exports to Russia were stopped when the country was excluded from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) payment platform."Our exporters can no longer receive payments from Russia hence we cannot sell to them," Okisegere said. 

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