April Issue 5 2011

Kenya Tourist Board give out rose gifts in London to celebrate the Royal Wedding

As the world prepared to celebrate the wedding of the year, the Kenya Tourist Board toasted Prince William and Kate Middleton with a Kenyan rose gift for London commuters on Wednesday 20th April.

In association with the Kenya Flower Council, the roses from Homegrown Flamingo Farm in Naivasha were handed out by Kenyan Maasai’s living in the UK, in traditional dress from the Masai Arts Organization at London Bridge, Waterloo, Liverpool Street and Kings Cross underground stations.

A selection of national, trade and lifestyle UK media also received a bouquet of roses while The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson got in on the action.

A card was attached to each rose with a note to highlight Kenya’s offerings as a romantic destination as chosen by Prince William for his marriage proposal to Catherine Middleton last October next to a beautiful lake on Mount Kenya. The bride and groom have also included a ‘Save the Black Rhino’ project in Kenya among the charities close to their hearts on their wedding gift list.

Kenya Tourist Board UK is pleased with the success of the rose giveaway campaign and hopes to encourage more visitors to Kenya by raising awareness of its diversity as a destination to the UK market.

The Kenya Flower Council wishes the newlyweds all the best in marriage life.

Source: E travel

CIOPORA produces a Kenya horticulture film

CIOPORA an association that groups together the breeders of ornamental and fruit plant varieties of asexual reproduction, with a view to assist them in the protection of their intellectual property rights has produced a film on the Kenya horticultural business and its IP protection.

Founded in 1961, CIOPORA represents both, individual breeders as well as breeding companies that account for a vast majority of the most important plant varieties of the horticultural and fruit sectors.

Bearing also in mind that ornamental and fruit species represent an average of more than 60 % of all plant breeders’ rights, titles and plant patents granted worldwide, the importance for the association to take influence on plant variety protection legislation becomes obvious.

The objectives and purposes of CIOPORA are:

  • to defend and represent the legitimate interests of its members;
  • to work in particular on the development, improvement and unification of national and international regulations for the protection of breeders’ rights, whether by patents, plant patents or plant breeders’ rights certificates, within the framework of the UPOV-Convention and the laws and treaties concerning the protection of intellectual property in general;
  • with a view to said purpose, to intervene with governments and international organizations, associations or other authorities that may have substantial concern with, or influence on, the scope and contents of the rights of said breeders on their plant creations.

The objective of CIOPORA is furthermore to make its members aware of all problems concerning the protection of their rights on their creations and to improve their knowledge in relation thereto.

Once every five years, CIOPORA organizes an international Colloquium on Plant Variety Protection, which brings together not only breeders of all different kinds of plant crops but also lawyers and consultants specialized in the field of Industrial Property as well as the officials from Plant Varity Offices and from the relevant international organizations.

To watch the video follow the link: CIOPORA.ORG | Video |

Labour Day Celebrations to go on Peacefully

Labour Day Celebrations will go on peacefully as planned. This comes after the Central Organization for Trade Unions (COTU) backed off from their earlier threat where they had told the Government to keep off Labour Day celebrations if it will not announce an increase of at least 60per cent of minimum wage for workers.

COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli indicated that the increase of the minimum wage would help cushion workers against the rising cost of living which has been occasioned by a steady rise in fuel products.
The Kenya Flower council position on any wage increase collaborates with that of the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) and Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA). KFC is a Member to both FKE and KEPSA.

According to a statement released by KEPSA on behalf of members, Kenyans are going through a tough time at the moment and there is a clear process that has to be followed in accordance with the Laws of Kenya. In this process there is room for putting the case across clearly and having rational debate about the overall effect on the economy and whether as a country we wish to follow that route. The tripartite process is recognized and adopted the world over and it works.

Eng. Patrick Obath the KEPSA Chairman said this process has not been followed and the private sector objects to this show of impunity in terms of the rule of law. He says KEPSA discourages the increase of minimum wages based on a percentage basis.  Each area should be considered and a number given for increase of wages. KEPSA’s position is that the law states that minimum wages should only be increased once every two years. Should there be an overarching need to increase then this should be done through the Wages Council who may then recommend an increase, if they so consider fit.

Eng. Obath stated that Wage increment should be the last resort because of the negative effect it can have to the same people it is meant to assist if not done from a holistic approach and as a country policy in terms of rates of increase that are rates region based, timely, regular and so on. There is need to have a rational discussion to get credible solutions. There is currently no national wage structure that goes from the lowest to the highest level and it would be an exercise in futility to put this as a solution to the current discussion on wages.

Some of the negative effects of ad hoc and unplanned wage increases include: massive job losses, increased casual employment and passing the increased labor cost to consumers. Focusing on other factors leading to high cost of living will have more sustainable effects and less negative externalities.

He added that Salary raises cannot help unless the costs go down significantly and the way forward is to go for economic stimuli that will not increase the cost of doing business but cushion a greater percentage of the population from the hard economic times.  A good start would be for the government to bring down the cost of electricity and fuel through tax reduction, and at the same time shield the shilling from weakening further.

Ethiopia flower earnings may surge by 2016-growers

Ethiopia’s income from horticulture exports is expected to more than triple to $550 million in five years due to rising investment, the head of a growers’ association said on Monday. More than 90 companies, including foreign firms, have set up in the sector, where investors have taken up 1,600 hectares for flower production, and 1,200 for vegetables.

Tsegaye Abebe, head of the Ethiopian Horticultural Producers and Exporters Association said land leases are likely to double for flower production and expand by ten-fold for fruits and vegetables.

“With the current rate of requests, revenue from the export of horticultural products will reach $550 million by that (five years) time,” Tsegaye told Reuters.

The Horn of Africa nation earned $110 million from flower exports and $45 million from vegetables in 2010, and it projects that the earnings will rise to $195 million and $60 million respectively in 2011.

“Every year there is a progress of 25 to 30 percent (in export earnings),” Tsegaye said.

“From 2012 onwards, our forecast is more than 35 percent. Flower farms are expected to expand and new projects opened in different parts of the country.”

Government officials have identified the sector as key to diversification in an economy long dependent on coffee exports, which usually account for 60 percent of total earnings.

Tsegaye said investors are attracted by incentives from the government which include a five-year tax break, scrapping of import duties and access to financing from banks.

Source: Reuters

International Floriculture Expo – 14-17th June 2011

The International Floriculture EXPO (formerly The Super Floral Show) is scheduled to start from 14th to 17th June 2011 at Miami Beach Convention Centre, Miami Beach, FL.

Participants will have the opportunity to meet, discuss and teach suppliers and retail buyers exactly what is needed to continue to grow businesses and meet consumer demands.  Numerous networking opportunities, education sessions and business ideas to help increase sales and provide the tools needed to keep buyers coming back for more will be created.

FloraHolland Aalsmeer develops control cart

FloraHolland Aalsmeer is introducing modern technically advanced instruments for better efficiency in the future. One of them is the Control Cart for the quality inspection. This is a movable control-station, in which the quality inspector can work effectively and reliably. On the cart there are all the gauging instruments, for bacteria infection, weighing, and length measuring. However, the significant change is that the equipment replaces the paperwork. The entire information about the quality control is instantly streaming to the central database and instantly available for buyers and growers. The first cart was introduced last month and worked immediately perfectly. All the old control carts will be gradually replaced this year.

Mechanized Distribution
The second project is an ambitious system to automate the whole process of distributing the goods among buyers, after the auctioning process. Nowadays, the first trials started, together with the knowledge institute TNO. The vision is “to bring the buckets to the worker”, rather than let the workers move around with the buckets. Another principle is avoiding heavy loads from the workers, and of course, speeding-up the entire process. In the future – probably also automated sorting of buckets.
The experiments start with investigational ingredients of the system, like conveyor belts, and a prototype of a ‘floriculture robot’, supposed to load, unload, and transfer full flower buckets.

Agdia Biofordas kits’ of plants diseases for greenhouses

Agdia/Biofords is a French company specialized in diagnostic and detection kits’ of plants diseases for greenhouses

and farms. As you know, diseases can spread quickly in greenhouses or farms. Agdia and its European partner Agdia-Biofords develop and distribute, in more than 120 countries, tests to detect transgenic traits, viruses, bacteria and fungi. They offer more than 200 tests in different formats, such as ELISA, PCR and Flashkits®.

All their products are tested for sensitivity, accuracy, repeatability and robustness. Product performance is validated internally and then externally by several independent laboratories.

Agdia-Biofords is also a partner of Phytotechlab. Phytotechlab products are used to mass propagate plants on sterile culture media in laboratory settings. They can supply products for the genetic improvement of plants through gene transformation research. The Flashkits® can help protect your farming.

To protect your plants from disease/infection, you can use the Flashkits® to:

  • Check sanitary quality of inputs
  • plants Protect safe plants from Infection
  • Warrant the sanitary quality of your products before exporting them.


Plant Pathogens

It is reliable and user-friendly, and is reference tools for your plant health quality controls.

Reduce the risk of diseases

Plant diseases can spread quickly through a greenhouse, sometimes before their effects are visible.  Agdia Biofords can help protect the crops – and the business – with reliable, easy-to-use Flashkits®.  Within just a few minutes, you will know if a plant is infected or not and have the time to protect the rest of your crop from harm.

Flashkits® sensitivity is similar to ELISA tests used in diagnostic labs. The kits are based on immuno-chromatography system. Results are ready in 5 – 30 minutes and their price makes Flashkits® an economical testing method.

Act early for best results

Plants should be tested immediately if symptoms appear. Because some viruses can be asymptomatic, you may also want to spot-check incoming plant material. Frequent testing can result in early detection of pathogens, helping give you an edge in protecting your greenhouse from the spread of pathogens.

To protect  other plants from infection and to ensure a clean greenhouse you should also :

  • Check the health of incoming plants.
  • Protect healthy plants from infection.
  • Assure plant health quality before plants are shipped.
Species Element to detect Kits available
Rose TMV (Tobacco Mosaic Virus)
Begonia CMV (Cucumber Mosaic Virus)
INSV (Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus)
TSWV (Tomato Spotted Wild Virus)
Chrysanthemums CMV (Cucumber Mosaic Virus)
INSV (Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus)
TSWV (Tomato Spotted Wild Virus)
Orchids ORSV (Odontoglossum Ringspot Virus)
CymMV (Cymbidium Mozaic Viru


Geraniums Rs (Ralstonia : bactérie de la Pourriture brune ou flétrissement bactérien)
CMV (Cucumber Mosaic Virus)
INSV (Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus)
TMV (Tobacco Mosaic Virus)
TSWV (Tomato Spotted Wild Virus)
Xcp (Xanthomonas campestris pv. Pelargonii)
Calibrachoa CbMV (Calibrachoa Mottle Virus)

Agdia Products and Services

Plant Pathogen Diagnostics

  • PathoScreen® Complete ELISA Kits
  • Reagent Sets
  • ImmunoStrips®
  • ImmunoPrints® and ImmunoBlots
  • PCR

GMO / Trait Diagnostics

  • Complete ELISA Kits
  • ImmunoStrips

Plant Hormone Detection

  • PhytoDetek® Complete Kits
  • PhytoDetek® Reagents
  • PhytoDetek® Standards


  • Positive Controls
  • Negative Controls
  • All Controls

For more information kindly contact Atsu KUTSIENYO on Tel: +33 (0) 1 60 78 81 64or atsu.kutsienyo@biofords.com. You can also visit www.agdia.com and www.biofords.com.

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