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Flower production falls by 20 percent due to heavy rains

By ANTONY GITONGA | December 27th 2015

NAIVASHA, KENYA: Flower farmers in Naivasha have started feeling the effects of ongoing heavy rains with production dropping significantly.
One of the leading flower farm Van Den Berg has reported a drop of twenty percent due to the cold weather associated with the rains.
The farm located along Moi South Lake road has a workforce of 1,200 workers and produces over 600,000 roses daily.
According to the farm MD Johan Remeeus, the farmers were now feeling the toll of the heavy rains which have been pounding the lakeside town for a couple of weeks.
"Flowers do well in warm conditions but due to the cold weather caused by the heavy rains we have seen production fall by around 20 percent," he said.
On the market, Remeeus noted that for the last five years the price of roses had remained constant against a rise in production cost.
He noted that the once lucrative Russian market was no longer performing well due to its weak currency compared to the Euro which flower farmers trade in.
"The cost of labor continues to be the biggest challenge in flower production," he said.
He admitted that Ethiopia continued to be Kenya's largest competitor in the region due to subsidies offered by their government.
"We hoped that the just ended World Trade Organization meeting would have addressed the issue of subsidies for fair playing ground but this was never to be," he said.

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