Flower importers looking to India, Ethiopia

Posted On 21 Feb 2014
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kenyaKENYA: “Ethiopia could become more competitive than Kenya, while India could overtake Kenya in floriculture, if the challenges are not addressed in Kenya,” said Mosses Ikiara, managing director of the Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest).

Currently India’s flower exports are about a tenth of Kenya’s. The country exported flowers worth $59 million in 2011-12, a growth of 23.3 percent from the previous year, with projections showing revenues to double by 2015.

Ethiopia’s horticulture industry earned $265.71 million in 2011-12, up from $224 million the previous year, a 19 percent increase.

Data from the Horticultural Crops Development Authority (HCDA) shows that in 2012, Kenya’s flower exports stood at $503 million, a four percent drop from $523 million in 2011. Output increased marginally to 123,000 tonnes in 2012, from 121,000 tonnes the previous year.

Kenya may lose its position as the world’s largest horticultural exporter because of compliance bottlenecks and uncertainty over trade talks between the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the European Union (EU), the East African report shows.

Keninvest, the body charged with promoting investment in that country, says its horticultural sector, especially the cut flower business, which brings in the bulk of horticulture income, is facing threats which could complicate its current standing as the world’s leading source market.

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