Kenyan flower farmers are upbeat ahead of Valentine Day and are projecting a rosy feature for the sector despite the recent losses incurred during the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) impasse.
The farmers said on Tuesday that they want to take advantage of the cold weather condition in Ethiopia to reclaim its lost market share during Valentine.According to Kenya Flower Council (KFC) chairman Richard Fox, Ethiopia was currently experiencing cold weather conditions which had affected its flower production.
“We want to take advantage of the low flower production in Ethiopia to reclaim our share of the European market during valentine,” he said in Naivasha.
Fox noted that this year’s flower demand were similar to last year but was optimistic that the market would change with time.
“The Euro is currently weak, meaning less shillings for Kenyan farmers but after solving the EPA impasse we see a bright future for the sector,” he said.
Fox said the council was seeking new markets and identified U.S., Japan and China as some of their targeted destinations.”We have some few farms selling the flowers to Japan and China, and the only challenge facing the U.S. market is lack of direct flights,” he said.
Maridadi Flower farm Managing Director Jack Kneppers projected a drop in the price of flowers during Valentine which will be marked across the world on Saturday.He noted for years the price of flowers had the tendency of dropping if Valentine was held on a weekend.
“There is no change in the demand of flowers this time round, but we project a drop in prices of flowers as Valentine comes in on a weekend.”
Oserian Flower Farm Communications Officer Dorcas Ngure said many farmers were optimistic that demand and prices would change after the EPA impasse was resolved, but this had not changed.
“Ahead of Valentine, demand remains the same but we hope that this will change once the new markets of U.S., Japan and China fully opens up,” she said.