Players in the horticulture sector have welcomed the recent signing of a framework of cooperation between the Kenya Flower Council (KFC) and The Netherlands to use the port of Mombasa for exporting perishables. According to the Managing Director of Primarosa Flowers Limited Bobby Kamani, the shift from air to sea freight is an idea whose time had come for the floriculture sector.
He said though there could be some teething problems in the initial stages, especially with the handling of flowers, this method of carriage was an efficient solution to challenges with freight.
“According to airlines, capacity will not get better any time soon but the demand for flowers is growing and it is for this very reason that sea freight is viable,” Kamani said.
He added that as the world moves towards sustainability after a dull two years of surge in Covid-19 infections that led to a global economic shutdown, clients are seeking carbon-neutral solutions.
‘’Sea freight therefore serves as the best solution,” Kamani said.
On May 30, the government of The Netherlands and the flower council signed a Framework of Cooperation meant to strengthen the efforts in adoption of sea freight for perishables in Kenya.
The deal was signed by The Netherlands ambassador Maarten Brouwer and the chairman of the Kenya Flower Council board Richard Fernandes.
A fulltime position of an agro-logistics coordinator has been developed to coordinate the initiative. The incumbent will be based at KFC for a two-year term.
By combining air and sea transport, Kenya would be well-positioned to become the East African perishable hub. Stakeholders said it is important to incorporate the supply chain requirements of perishable goods in new infrastructures.