Kenyan flower farmers are set to earn up to Sh10bn up from one billion shillings following the launch of direct flights to the United States of America set for October this year according a statement to the Kenya Flower Council.
The Kenya Airways will launch the inaugural flight on October 28th and this will cut travel time by more than seven hours. The planes will land at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.
This comes at a time when the value of horticulture exports increased by 13.6 per cent from Sh101.5bn in 2016 to Sh115.3bn in 2017 according to the 2018 economic survey released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics in April this year. Export volumes increased by 11.6 per cent to 159,961 tonnes.
In this, cut flowers accounted for 71.3 per cent of the value of horticulture exports with earnings increasing to Sh82.24bn from Sh70.83b in 2016.
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Currently, the European Union is the major export for Kenyan flowers accounting for 38 per cent of the total market share.
The USA accounts for 0.4 per cent of the existing market share.
Kenyan flowers packaged for export. Photo: courtesy
In the EU, the United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland and the main market destinations according to the Kenya Flower Council.
In 2017, the number of licensed flower export companies increased from 356 recorded in 2016.
In February this year, the Kenya Horticulture Council has adopted 1758 standards for flowers which require growers, propagators, breeders, consolidators, shippers, and cargo handlers to observe hygienic and safety requirements during the production, handling, and marketing of flowers and ornamentals.