Flower exports bloom as global Mother’s Day fete looms

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020 00:00 |
Flower export. Photo/Henry Wahinya

Kenyan flowers to Europe are on a gradual recovery path after the onset of the Covid-19 crippled the sector.

Stakeholders attribute the trend to a campaign by the private sector dubbed Flowers of Hope launched last month to encourage customers’ sentimental value of a flower in a period of a health crisis and availability of air freighters from Nairobi.

Also boosting sales is the International Mother’s Day festivities due Sunday, May 10.

“Focus of customers in Europe, just like in other parts of the world,  first shifted to food availability and health concerns,” says Kenya Flower Council (KFC) CEO, Clement Tulezi.

“But the ‘I wish you well’ sentiment of giving flowers to the sick is gaining credence,” he said.

Covid-19 brought down the tonnage of flowers destined for overseas markets from high of 5,000 tonnes.

“However, exports have been on the rise since last month and at least 1,300 tonnes are now being exported at any given time,” Tulezi told a local radio station.

He proposed that Kenya Airways and other African carriers re-configure more planes into cargo carriers to ferry freight to local, regional and international levels.

Bimal Kantaria,  Managing Director at Elgon Kenya,  says international events such as Mother’s and Father’s day have given a boost to the flower export market.  

“Cancellation of the international passenger flights dealt a big blow to the industry,” said Kantaria, whose firms supplies agro-chemicals and fertilisers to horticultural and floricultural farms across East  Africa. 

Speaking while distributing food donations  to needy members of the community in Nairobi, 

Meanwhile, Emirates SkyCargo has utilised the cargo capacity on its Boeing 777 freighter and Boeing 777-300ER passenger freighter aircraft to help maintain and replenish food supplies in the United Arab Emirates during the pandemic. 

The airline (pictured above)  has helped import more than 34,000 tonnes of food to Dubai between January and April 2020 from over 35 countries around the world.

“We have facilitated more than 2,500 tonnes of food from Kenya including fresh fruits such as pineapples, mangoes and meat,” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo.

More on News