Featured Past Articles

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.

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.

Specifically the Benefits are:
Improved Fertiliser Efficiency


When Humates/Humic Acids are combined with any fertiliser DAP, MAP, Urea, SOP, SOA, etc., then that fertiliser will become much more stable in the soil through the binding of the product to carbon. Leaching and lockups are virtually eliminated as the plant nutrients are held in the soil and made available to the plant roots upon demand thus increasing the protein and mineral contents of most crops.

In addition, these fertilisers will be absorbed and utilised much more effectively (30 to 50% improved uptake) in the presence of humates/humic acids. Humates buffer the soils against damage, which can be caused by acid fertiliser applications.

Long-Life Nitrogen
Applied nitrogen is notoriously unstable in the soil. Urea, for example, can deliver about 28% of its 48% nitrogen lode. When combined with Humates/Humic Acids however, ammonium and nitrate nitrogen (from urea) is stored on the humic colloid by the free radicals within the humic and becomes a very stable, slow releasing nitrogen source.

All 46 units are retained and the released pattern is extended up to 60/80 days thus allowing 10-40% less nitrogen to be used. Humates/Humic controls the loss of humus which can be caused through the nitrification of nitrogen (Urea) by nitrifying bacteria.

As the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged every industry and all walks of life, the international cut flower trade showed remarkable resilience and, at some point, unexpected outcomes.

During that period, both importers and exporters faced incredible challenges: the lockdowns imposed by governments in the majority of countries restricted staff from working and made sourcing supplies difficult; transporting flowers to shipping and distribution points became almost impossible; airfreight diminished and prices rocketed; expansion plans and innovative projects were put on hold. And yet, flower demand remained stable and even increased, flower suppliers delivered, and the industry has remained healthy in general terms. As the world slowly reopens and activity resumes worldwide, we analyse lessons learned and emerging trends.

Water - The Defining Crisis of the TwentyFirst Century’

“Oil we can replace. Water we can’t - which is why this book is both so ominous and so important.” (Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature)

Throughout history, rivers have been our foremost source of fresh water both for agriculture and for individual consumption, but now economists say that by 2025 water scarcity will cut global food production by more than the current U.S. grain harvest.

In this ground-breaking book, veteran science correspondent Fred Pearce focuses on the dire state of the world’s rivers to provide our most complete portrait yet of the growing world water crisis and its ramifications for us all.

Mr. Parit Shah, Managing Director, Silpack

The Assignment
In September 2020, Silpack joined a group of pioneers who were tasked with transport of flowers by sea from Kenya to its main markets in Europe in an efficient and commercially viable manner.

In particular, Silpack was assigned to develop and manufacture suitable packaging for this exercise.

Why Silpack?
Silpack Industries Ltd, has been at the forefront of packaging development for flower transport in the last ten years, having developed an innovation center in Nairobi which is supported by its technical partners based in Sweden and the US.

Mealybugs are insects in the family Pseudococcidae and they are found in moist, warm habitat. Many of the common species are in the Pseudococcus and Planococcus genera.

Mealybugs damage plants with their toxic saliva, causing leaves to drop, inhibiting plant growth particularly of new shoots and creating yellow spots. Mealybugs can be difficult to treat because they hide in crevices where stems meet leaves and can reach damaging population levels rather quickly.

Life cycle
The life history of mealybugs varies depending on species. Their development progresses from egg to nymph, to adult. The Females may lay up to 600 eggs that are small, yellow and are a covered by a cottony mass. The long tailed mealy bugs don’t lay eggs but bear live young ones.

The female nymphs pass through three instars with a generation taking as little as one month depending on temperature. The female adults die shortly after laying all the eggs.

The Male nymphs pass through five instars. They don’t feed after the first two instars and their sole purpose is fertilizing the females.