Virus: the Kenyan rose industry in difficulty

Flowers of lush beauty and beauty. But this gardening operation in Kenya loses 20,000 per day, as it only sells 20% of its daily production and the rest is destroyed.

In the “Bliss Flora” rose garden in Njoro, about 180 km northwest of Nairobi, the Covid-19 crisis is fully felt: no more of the 100,000 to 120,000 roses produced daily and intended for export can be found the lessee.

“The big effect is felt in our markets, because thefts can be there, but it’s the market that doesn’t take the flowers and we end up in the trash about 75 to 80% of our production and can’t sell only 20%,” explains Philip Kuriale, head for the Nini site.

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The Kenyan flower industry has been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic as reported cases continue to increase. Many companies have already sent hundreds of workers home and closed several departments.

It’s a dark hour for the 51-year-old worker, who wonders what the future holds for him.

“If there are no flowers at all, chances are we will be sent home,” the worker said.

Kenya is the world’s fourth largest exporter of flowers and has over 120 plantations. Industry is one of the most important sources of income in the country.

In 2019, flowers brought more than $ 1 billion to Kenya.

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