Featured Articles July - August 2022

Mr. Dick Van Raamsdonk

By Mary Mwende Mbithi

Two years without you seeing me was the longest time I’ve been away! Did you miss me?” I know you are already wondering, but this is not me, this was actually IFTEX asking after being away for two good years.

It’s been two years since Covid-19 pandemic struck, and that’s just how IFTEX got locked out. Curfews and lockdowns characterized the season, creating turbulence in the flower industry. It was like a long, still and dark night for the flower industry.

Mr. Pius Kimani-Farm Manager

He is Passionate about his work because it fills a large part of his life, and the only way to be satisfied is to do what he believes is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what he does. In my daily work attention to details is key.

How is it coming from your local primary School and rising to where you are? (Personal and Professional background)
I attended Gathiru-ini Primary School in Githunguri, Kiambu County, then proceeded to the neighbouring Gathiru-ini Secondary School. I was destined to attend Gathiru-ini University but since it did not exist, I attended the University of Nairobi in the Capital undertaking a Bsc Agriculture Degree.


By Mary Mwende Mbithi

Flower growers preparing their spray program have yet another reason to smile as Bayer East Africa unveiled a superior liquid formulation and a powerful tool designed to protect against fungal diseases on the leaves and in the of soil as well bacterial diseases. This went down at Interplant Roses located at the Flower Business Park in Naivasha, Nakuru County during a Growers Day organized by Bayer. It was an epoch-making fete as growers showed up in huge numbers all geared up for the launch of Serenade® ASO, a biological fungicide that aims at managing the notorious powdery mildew in roses.

Edwin Kiptarus , the Go to Manager Cereals and Flowers East Africa

Technical Walk
Growers were taken round the greenhouses by Bayer’s team of agronomists where Bayer had contacted their prior trials before concluding on the effectiveness of the product. Different varieties of roses were showcased in various hydroponics system, and it was certain that Serenade® ASO was a game changer.

Roses inflicted with powdery mildew and those already cured from the latter were neatly displayed growing on pumice and coco peat in the hydroponics. It was evident that indeed Serenade® ASO was doing a wonder in rose growing. The roses treated with Serenade® ASO were spick and span, flourishing and looking healthier than those untreated.

Floriculture Magazine was privileged to have an exclusive tete-a-tete with Chrysal’s Commercial Manager East Africa Redbad Verduijn during Chrysal’s Open day this year.

Redbad Verduijn

Briefly discuss Chrysal East Africa Ltd?
Chrysal Africa is the regional entity and representation for one of the leading post-harvest and flower food providers in the world. Chrysal international is a Dutch based company with a great track record in the flower industry, that is since a couple of years part of the Japanese OAT Agro group.

Today, more than ever, the agricultural sector is feeling the pressure of emerging pests and diseases. Intensive international movement of plant material, fruit, vegetables and ornamental plants contribute to this. Moreover, many of the previous known pathogens and insect pests have also become more resilient and resistant to chemical pesticides. A shrinking pool of available chemicals, coupled with few new entrants, means that growers are heavily burdened.

Where we are as Kenyan growers
Kenyan cut-flower growers have in the recent years adopted biological control and integrated pest management (IPM). In spite of this achievement, growers still have to contend with less success in using the same approach to control emerging pests. To date, IPM has focused on insect pests and not on common diseases such as powdery mildew, downy mildew and botrytis. To add insult to injury, more and more bacterial and viral infections are occurring in crops and as a response to this, growers are frequently resorting to disinfectants.