April Issue 3 2011

Experts meet to consult on Methyl Bromide BAN

The African meeting of methyl bromide experts was held fro 13th to 15th April 2011 at the Crown Plaza Hotel-Upper hill Nairobi.   The meeting targeted delegates from National Ozone Authorities in Cameroon, Egypt, Morocco, Ethiopia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Sudan and Kenya.

The meeting addressed methyl bromide (MB) ban, opportunities and challenges for Africa. Participants supported the calls for a review of the Montreal protocol to allow some usage.

The forum assessed the progress made in phasing out the substance by 2015 as set by the Montreal Protocol in 2000. The Montreal Protocol allows countries to apply for a critical use exemption if the country has conducted sufficient alternative research but is still unable to find a viable, safe alternative to methyl bromide.

Methyl Bromide is ozone depleting substance and also an effective product for pest and disease control in grain storage (silos), soil treatment, quarantine products, pallets and other packaging material storage, as well as in museums.

In agriculture sector, it is used to fumigate soils and other growing Medias like coco peat and pumice. Existing alternatives like heating and chemical that are under research are too expensive and less effective compared to methyl Bromide.

Although Kenya phased out Methyl Bromide use in 2010, KFC code of Practice encouraged members to phase out by 2005. The country is now allowed  import of a maximum of 17 tons for essential use. Many countries in Africa also banned use, but experience shows a proliferation of use as horticulture in those countries grows.

Developed countries are increasingly applying for critical use exemption, and USA is specifically calling for a re-think on the 2015 ban, indicating it’s not just farmers in developing countries having challenges, but those in developed world as well. The EU remains opposed to Methyl Bromide use and Kenyan horticulture is keen to keep off and seek alternatives.

If an effective alternate is not found and the 2015 worldwide total ban staying in force, the world could be facing a cataclysm of soil borne plant pest and diseases. According to KEPHIS, there has been a reduction of Methyl Bromide usage in the country and they are implementing the standards being the regulatory and licensing body. There are certain markets that insist on treatment of shipments and this is done strictly under enclosed environment to prevent gas from escaping into the environment.

According to the Pests Control Products Board Managing Director Ms. Gladys Maina, the alternatives offered are expensive. “None of the alternatives have met the performance of Methyl Bromide. Unfortunately, it has the challenge of depleting the ozone layer,” she said.

Kenya flower council participated in the forum.  According to Jane Ngige Chief executive of KFC the efforts to comply with cessation of methyl Bromide use, has contributed significantly to sustained market access.

KFC presents a lobby paper in  preparation of 2011/2012 government budget

The Kenya flower council has presented a lobby paper to the ministry of finance for consideration in the preparation of year 2011/2012 government budget. the proposal covered the following areas;

1. The Income Tax Act Chapter 470 Laws of KenyaError! Bookmark not defined.

– Withholding Tax on Auction Costs

– Withholding Tax on Breeding Rights

– Restriction of losses carried forward to four years

2.The Value Added Tax Act Chapter 476 Laws of Kenya (VAT)

– VAT on Breeding Rights

– VAT on Supplied Goods and Services

– Cut flowers and flower buds

– Construction of dams/lagoons

– Agricultural, animal husbandry and horticultural services

– Fast-Tracking of VAT Refunds

– VAT Refunds on inventory claims

– The proposed new VAT act

– Energy Costs

3.Customs Duty, Excise Duty and VAT

– Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

– Coco Peat / Fibre

– Packaging Material

– Other levies

– Revision Of documentation charges

4.The Special Economic Zones Bill, 2009

– Inclusion of floriculture

Curriculum Development at the PTC gets a boost- new 1.5 mil euro from NUFFIC- Netherlands

The Practical training Centre is set to benefit from a new grant of 1.5 million euro from the Government of Netherlands under the NUFFIC project – that specifically finances capacity building in higher education (NICHE). This is a joint project with JKUAT, KARI and PTC, with PTC taking the lead in managing the project locally, and a yet-to-be identified Dutch service provider (usually an institution of higher learning/practical training) who will manage the funds and project in the Netherlands. This financing is limited to curriculum development and research capacity development, and is different from the current one that has been developing training facilities.

Under this project, all courses at the PTC and JKUAT on horticulture will be reviewed, and detailed curriculum including training materials/booklets developed. There is also a plan to accredit the courses locally and also internationally, and undertake a detailed Training of trainers for the PTC and JKUAT. This way, we will have industry input into what happens at JKUAT to improve relevance to the sector, and also JKUAT input into what happens at PTC, to enhance training skills/capacity. This project will run for 3 years, and is expected to be launched in august/September 2011.

Source: FPEAK

UPDATE FROM THE INTERMINISTRIAL STAKEHOLDER FORUM: – ENVIRONMENT, FORESTRY, AND WILDLIFE MINISTERIAL – 14th APRIL 2011.

From:  Kepsa where Kenya Flower Council is a member

PS MINSTRY OF ENVIRONMENT

Ø  Imalisha Naivasha Programme: Private sector and particularly flower farms in Naivasha are supporting this initiative whose objective is to restore the environmental quality of the greater Naivasha catchment area.

Ø  Greening Programme-Plan: Aspires to plant 1 billion trees by 2030. 4 million trees already planted. Target is 400,000 trees per year.

Ø  Assessment and restoration of Wetland Project: Aim is to map all wetlands in Kenya by June 2011.

Ø  Ministry has ordered NEMA to restore riparian land adjacent to all water bodies including rivers and lakes e.g. the Nairobi River and Lake Naivasha.

Ø  Ministry has banned grazing in the forests.

Ø  First Motor vehicle emissions workshop held in March 2011.

MAU RESTORATION PROJECT PROGRESS

Ø  Secretariat was formed in September 2009. After 4 months 24 hectares were recovered out of which 19 were occupied by squatters

Ø  Natural regeneration has taken place in this area and no one has returned to this recovered area.

Ø  Profile of the persons who live in the Maasai Mau has been done. The area is 22 ha of land. The families in this area will be compensated.

Ø  Ogiek community comprising of 11,000 persons living in the area will be compensated as well.

Ø  Local and international organizations are taking part in the last phase opf the project dubbed Adopt Mau Programme e.g. Department of Defense, USAID, UNEP among others.

Ø  Boundaries have been marked in 4 blocks indicating boundaries with community land.

Ø  A title deed for Eburu forest has been acquired and issued to the Ministry of Forestry.

Private sector is requested to join the Government in the phase 4 of the Mau restoration programme by adopting sections of the forest for tree planting and restoration of biodiversity.

Ø  The Government has formed the National Water Tower National Fund Secretariat for the purpose of restoring and conserving water towers.

OTHER ISSUES

Ø  COP 17 meeting will be held in South Africa this year. Preparatory meeting for COP17 will be held in Bonn on 4th June 2011. There is need to participate in the preparatory meeting because COP 17 meeting is usually meant to adopt already decisions arrived at the preparatory meetings.

Ø  Government was requested to financially support the private  sector participants in important forums e.g. COP 17. Government has been accrediting but has not been paying for such private sector participants.

Ø  There is need for Governments to sensitize the citizens on the carbon trade especially on benefits arising from the trade. There is need to harmonize and regulate how the benefits accruing from the trade should flow to the community since the resources belong to the community.

Ø  Government has not assessed the CARBON CAPITAL capacity in the country for purposes of ensuring tapping of the same by community and private sectors.

Ø  Government is preparing land use Master plan to guide use of land. It was observed that due absence of a land policy, land with potential for agriculture has been subdivided into uneconomical pieces which cannot support commercial food production; land use policy should be intertwined with enviroment stewardship.

Ø  NEMA has approved two Jatropha projects, to be  implemented on a pilot basis in Malindi and Tana river delta.

EIA REVIEW BY NEMA

Ø  At the request of private sector NEMA started to review EIA procedures last year. The output will be discussed with private sector prior to gazettement

Ø  NEMA has decentralized the EIA approval from head office to the provinces and this has increased efficiency. .

Ø  NEMA informed and requested the Ministry of Local Government to ensure that “change of user” is done in a manner that does not complicate the EIA process. It was observed that residents’ association bring their complain to NEMA long after the projects have  long been approved. PS Enviroment requested NEMA to provide EIA copies to the resident associations who must give feedback before projects are started.

Ø  The meeting observed that there is need to ensure that proper definition are given in the NEMA procedures or legislation for implementation. For instance wetlands are not properly defined.

NAIROBI RIVER PROJECT

Ø  The project was started in 2007 and is still on-going.

Ø  A total of 250,000 tonnes of waste were removed from the river bed within the city of Nairobi

Ø  A total of 130,000 trees and ornamentals have been planted so far.

Ø  Dagoretti slaughter houses have reduced  deposition of waste into the Nairobi river tributary.

Ø  The project has earned an international award to the Ministry of Environment.

Ø  The PS observed that private sector participation in the project was very poor. The Government envisaged  construction a recreation park along the river which has not been realiazed.

Ø  Ministry of Local Government indicated that once the riparian land for Nairobi River was established, it would draw by-laws to ensure compliance.

Ø  The project was expected to build business opportunities

Dolcetto! Available to buy from 15 April

The new Dolcetto!® rose, from Schreurs and Linssen Roses, will be available to buy at FloraHolland from 15 April.

The new rose, grown in the Ethiopian highlands, was launched at the Schreurs booth during the IFTF Flower Expo on 5 November last year. Schreurs, together with its clients and other industry figures, came together during a colourful cocktail party to name the new special rose – which was toasted with specially bottled Dolcetto wine.

Miranda ter Voorde, who made use of the Dolcetto rose in her book Celebrations, said: “The appearance of this beautiful rose reminds me of a garden rose. Full, but also featuring little butterfly-like petals that appear nicely curled. The soft delicate lilac colour is a welcome addition to the extensive range by Schreurs. I find her an outstanding rose because her colour combines well and can nicely adapt all year round. In spring combined with hues like baby blue and bright green shades; in summer combined with pink and bright pink tones; in autumn with the classic fall colors such as red and brown; around Christmas with more deep purple and red hues and in winter with light blue and white.

“I believe that this rose will do well especially in wedding arrangements because of her soft lilac color. As a single flower, she is wonderful for occasions such as Valentine day or Mothers day. She really doesn’t need to be touched up to be beautiful. I think she is a top quality flower that is good to work with. She also has a nice thick stem that nicely compliments her flower.”

Dolcetto will be auctioned in the Fleur Primeur group and has the VBN code 107534. The first five Dolcetto buyers on 15 April will all receive six free bottles of Dolcetto wine.

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