Kenyan flowers continue to attract more prospective buyers beyond the traditional EU markets

The organizers of International Flower Trade Expo (IFTEX) have pushed the date to June 5-7 2013. The annual event normally held in March will now take place two months later since the country expects to hold it general elections during the month of March.

The event, now going for its second year, was held in Nairobi at Oshwal Centre in Kenya and attracted all stakeholders in the flower industry. Growers, breeders, buyers, manufacturers other supporting products and importers of products and services were at the show to meet and network with their clients.

According to IFTEX organizers, HPP Exhibitions, last year, visitors and exhibitors represented about 39 countries. The fair filled itself with both national and international visitors of which most were international flower buyers from Dubai, Qatar, Canada, Bulgaria, Russia, Spain, Germany, , Tjechie, Italy, Japan, Holland, England, Belgium, Australia, South Africa, and more.

Even though it was the first time for such event in Kenya, a total of 140 companies exhibited. Out of the total, 93 were Kenyan companies which included 61 local growers. Kenya Flower Council(KFC) also facilitated in making the expo a success by mobilizing its producer members who included Magana Flowers, Sian Roses, Finlays Horticulture, Mweiga Blooms, Maridadi Flowers, Oserian, Xpressions, P. J. Dave flowers, Black Petals, Harvest Ltd, Elbur Flora, Isinya ,Mosi, Simbi Roses, Desire Flora, Mt. Elgon, Kreative Roses, Primarosa, and Vegpro Group. KFC Associate members included Bayer Crop Science, Elgon Kenya, Koppert Biological, Syngenta, De Ruiter East Africa, Dipchem East Africa, FloraHolland, Schreurs,Hortilink, Kuehne + Nagel , The Flower Hub Kenya, and UFO Supplies.

The event also provides a platform for the players in flower sector to reflect on the opportunities and challenges facing the industry. Last year, Kenya Minister for Agriculture Sally Kosgei told the exhibitors that the government is aware of the problems the industry is facing ranging from high freight charges, rising fuel costs, lack of any subsidies and requested the stakeholders to work together to minimize impact on everyone involved.

By Allan Muturi