Featured Past Articles
Kenya prides herself of a blooming flower sector and partnered with fourteen (14) pavilions at Expo 2020 Dubai to distribute one million branded red roses this Valentine’s Day as the world celebrated love the Kenyan way: “From Kenya with love.”
The pavilions distributing Kenyan flowers included Sudan, Chile, Nigeria, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Philippines, Dubai Cares, San Marino, Marshall Islands, Malaysia, Lesotho, Mexico, Bhutan and Malta.
Top world flower exporter
Kenya is Africa’s lead exporter of flowers and ranks as the fourth largest exporter of flowers globally behind Netherlands, Colombia and Ecuador.
The most significant markets for Kenyan flowers are the European Union, United States of America, United Kingdom, Russia, Australia, Asia and Africa.
Kenya is the lead exporter of cut flowers to the European Union (EU) with a market share of about 38%. Approximately 50% of exported flowers are sold through the Dutch auctions, although direct sales are growing. Kenyan flowers are sold in more than 60 countries.
Valentine’s Day is a day for love, romance, and fragrant floral bouquets. But we can also make it a day for gender equality. That’s because when it comes to Fairtrade flowers, more than half of the 73,000 workers on Fairtrade certified farms around the world are women.
Fairtrade flower plantations offer a lifeline to rural women, providing essential income, enabling their families to thrive, and increasing their independence. According to a recent report, female flower workers also have more control over money. A third jointly manage household finances and 38 percent are solely responsible for them. Above all, specific Fairtrade programmes enable women flower workers to take part in leadership training, helping them achieve the futures they dream for themselves
It’s Fairtrade’s role as the connective tissue between social justice and on-the-ground action that inspired Susan Limisi, Fairtrade Africa’s Gender Coordinator, to lead the organization’s gender portfolio across 33 countries in Africa and the Middle East. An experienced gender specialist with a background in gender programming, monitoring and evaluation and psychological counselling, Susan saw in Fairtrade’s mission the opportunity to advance gender equality across the agriculture value chain by working directly with Fairtrade certified producer organizations.
By Jack Wekesa
Nematodes which are typically most abundant in upper soil layers where organic matter, plant roots and other resources are most abundant can be very devastating to the farmer. Some species can damage plant roots, stems, foliage and flowers by puncturing the cell walls using their sharply pointed mouths. It is estimated in flowers that 5 % of the Pesticides budget is for nematodes control.
Pesticide resistance can become a problem when the same chemicals are used over and over to control a particular pest. After a period, the pest may develop resistance to a chemical so that the chemical no longer effectively controls the pest at the same rate, and higher rates and more frequent applications become necessary until eventually the chemical provides little or no control.
The best way to manage pesticide resistance is to focus on three strategies: avoid, delay, and reversal. Avoid the development of pesticide resistance problems with the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs, which reduce reliance on chemical control. Delay resistance by using pesticides only when needed, as indicated by monitoring, and when pests are at a susceptible stage.
Plant nutrition is the study of the chemical elements and compounds necessary for plant growth, plant metabolism and their external supply. Without proper plant nutrition, plants tend to die off or produce little or no yield.
In my line of work I visit hundreds of flower farms a year; the flourishing, the ticking over, and the ones in dire straits. A lot of my more demanding work is dealing with farms that suddenly run into problems. “Ruth, please come and visit our farm as soon as possible, our production has suddenly dropped to half” is a common call. My advice to flower farmers on the critical issues in plant nutrition in floriculture would be as follows:-
Start with the Basics
Start with the basics, understand your soil and water and know what you are dealing with. A solid ‘risk’ assessment before you even buy the farm is recommended.
By Mary Mwende Mbithi
South Africa’s founding father, Nelson Mandela, once said, ‘Remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead…’ and indeed Porini Premium Flowers has every reason to celebrate as they mark a Decade since the start of operations!
Ten years ago, in the peripheral region of Olenguruone, Molo in Nakuru County, what began as a noble idea was ultimately propelled into a reality. The inception of Porini Premium Flowers was a beautiful milestone for the founders of Isinya Roses Ltd, which by then was ten years old having started in the year 2001.
Porini, a Swahili word that means ‘wild,’ became the little sister to Isinya roses. And just like the wild flowers, ‘You must allow yourself to grow in all places people thought you never would;’ Porini Premium Flowers has continued to bloom in all aspects, bringing a new face to the flower industry. Last year, Porini turned a decade old, her sister farm Isinya Roses turned two decades old.
Experts in the fields of plant pathology, entomology, cultivation, climate, and technology work together with entrepreneurs and scientists from a range of fields. This collaborative approach combines innovations with the latest scientific knowledge and important and relevant questions from the professional field.
Healthy substrate and soil
A healthy substrate or soil is an important starting point for any healthy horticultural crop. Therefore, sustainable adaptations and cultivation techniques are important to create resilient cultivation systems. In resilient cultivation systems, more emphasis is put on preventing diseases as opposed to treating outbreaks. To achieve better disease prevention, a multi-disciplinary approach is needed. This requires optimal physical, chemical and biological characteristics in the rhizosphere and rooting environment so that better growth and higher resilience of the plant, as well as the control of pathogens, can be achieved.