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Kenya stands to lose Sh25b due to diplomatic row

By Anthony Gitonga | April 7th 2021
A worker from Naivasha-based Maridadi flower farm works on roses for exports to the EU market against a diplomatic row between Kenya and the UK. Despite the Covid-19 regulations in Europe, the demand for roses has shot up compared to last year. [Anthony Gitonga, Standard]

The country stands to lose more than Sh25 billion in flower exports with the ongoing diplomatic row between Kenya and the UK.

With UK being Kenya's second-largest importer of flowers, anxiety has gripped the sector.

The Kenya Flower Council has warned of a major disruption coming when the sector that was hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic was beginning to recover.

Last week the UK government placed Kenya among the "red list" following an upsurge in cases of Covid-19 and banned passenger flights into the country from April 9.

In response, Kenya introduced strict rules for passengers arriving from the UK. Under the rules, passengers will be subjected to two Covid-19 tests and they will be placed in quarantine for 14 days at their cost.

And as the row continues to generate more heat, the flower council has warned of massive losses.

Council CEO Clement Tulezi admitted that farmers were worried by the spat that could have negative effects on the country’s imports.

“The country earned Sh25 billion from flower imports to the UK last year and once these directives come into force there is fear that we shall lose all that due to the disruption,” he said.

Naivasha-based Jack Kneppers from Maridadi Flower Farm said he was keenly following the diplomatic row.

He was however quick to add that all their produce was destined for the Dutch auction that is not affected by the latest directives.


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