Looking at the vast number of flowers and ornamentals that daily arrive from Kenya on the big global hubs, no one can ignore the fact that this country is a floral superpower. And 4 out of 5 exported flowers come from growers that are represented by the Kenya Flower Council (KFC)
. KFC is at the forefront for the growers and exporters with the aim of fostering responsible and safe production of cut flowers in Kenya with due consideration of workers' welfare and protection of the environment.
The Kenya Flower Council
Kenya Flower Council (KFC) is the leading Business Membership Association for growers, exporters, and key cut-flower and ornamentals value chain actors. KFC members account for approximately 80% of Kenya’s floricultural exports.
KFC Is at the Forefront
The organization is at the forefront of promoting Kenya as a reliable source of quality cut flowers and ornamentals and the country’s competitiveness in the global floriculture trade. KFC is actively engaged in all major trade negotiations in existing, new, and emerging markets. The organization's task is to amplify Kenya’s image in the international market as the most trusted source of cut flowers and ornamentals.
KFC engages with key actors locally for a favorable business environment for growers and exporters of cut flowers and ornamentals.
The Kenya Flower sub-sector
Kenya is famous for its scenic landscapes, vast wildlife, athletes and cut-flowers, and ornamentals. Kenya is the 3rd largest producer of cut flowers and ornamentals worldwide. Kenya exports to over 60 destinations globally.
The main market is the European Union, where Kenya has close to a 40% of the market share. The industry, with support from the country’s State Department for Trade, is focusing on new and emerging markets such as Japan, Australia, Russia, the United States of America, the Middle East, South Korea, Turkey, and Malaysia, among others.
5% Growth Per Year
The Kenya cut flower industry is the 4th largest foreign exchange earner to the exchequer after the diaspora remittances, tourism and tea. It contributes over 1.29 % of the country’s GDP. The industry’s growth in value and volumes has been generally on an upward trend since 2015. It grows at about 5% per annum. Earnings in the last three years average USD 1 billion and over 170,000 tons per year. Kenyan flowers are renowned for their novelty, diversity, quality, and long vase life.
The sub-sector is one of the largest employers in the country with over 200,000 locals employed directly and a further 1,000,000 indirectly through affiliated industries thus impacting over 4 million livelihoods. Over 70% of the employees in the industry are women.
Roses, Carnations, and Many More
Cut flowers and ornamentals are grown in 15 counties in Kenya. The main cut-flowers that are grown in Kenya are roses and carnations. Other cut flowers grown are eryngiums, chrysanthemums, alstroemerias, gypsophillas, lilies, hydrangeas, arabicums, statice, birds of paradise, kangaroo paws, delphiniums, limoniums, craspedias, solidago, amaranthus, agapanthus, matthiola, sunflower, gerberas, scabiosas, eucalyptus, geraniums, moby dicks, orchids, and hypericums. The total hectarage under rose growing is about 3,800 hectares while summer flowers occupy about 1,000 hectares.
Several reasons explain the industry’s success in the country, these include Kenya’s position on the equator and its altitude, favorable weather which ensures year-round production of flowers, Kenya’s good infrastructure, excellent cold chain facilities, and innovation. Others factors are skilled and diligent labor force, compliance to market requirements, and a strong lobbying arm for the industry.
Resilient Amidst COVID-19
The floriculture industry was heavily affected by the onset of COVID-19 in early 2020, occasioned by a lack of demand in the market and reduced freight capacity. However, the industry is resilient, and it has weathered the storm to post positive results amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
Header image of Tambuzi Roses by kenyaflowerfestival.