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Flower Council pushes for tax subsidies

CARTOON
By | August 11th 2010

By John Oyuke

Flower exporters want to be included in the Export Processing Zones (EPZs) to enjoy more incentives from the Government and attract more investment.

Kenya Flower Council (KFC) chairman Erastus Mureithi said despite investing heavily in the multi-billion shilling industry, the players were yet to benefit from the existing incentives to recover from last year’s losses fuelled by drought and post-election violence.

He said the industry has for the last six years been lobbying for inclusion in the EPZs that enjoys attractive tax subsidies.

The players expect their inclusion to the EPZ would enable them ward-off threats posed by emerging small flower growing countries like Ethiopia and Tanzania.

"In the recent past, Tanzania has actively sought Kenyan flower farmers to invest in the country," said Mureithi.

The threats of competition from the region, he added, is happening at time when Kenya has not received direct foreign investments in the industry over the last three years.

"We want the Government and the Ministry of Agriculture to decide the destiny of the flower sector through appropriate incentives," he said.

Mr Mureithi spoke while presenting a KFC Silver Certificate to Xpressions Flora Ltd, a KFC member .

Also present was Xpressions Flora Limited Managing Director, Inder Nain and KFC Chief Executive, Jane Ngige.

Rose farm

The Njoro-based farm, which qualified for the KFC Silver Certificate for the first time, grows roses sold in the Netherlands and other parts of Europe.

Exports of horticultural products are the biggest foreign exchange earner for the country, with Sh71.6 billion worth of flower, fruit and vegetable exported last year.

Mureithi said a membership in the EPZ would enable the industry enjoy special government support, with respect to fiscal incentives, tax rebates and other exclusive benefits.

EPZs encompasses pre-defined infrastructural facilities and regulations on establishment and environmental stipulations.

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