May Issue 1 2011

Issue 1

KEPSA hold its AGM

KEPSA held its 7th Annual General Meeting on 29th April 2011 at Panafric Hotel where over 50 members attended.

One of the agenda items was the nomination of the Board of Directors for the period 2011 – 2013.  The Nominations Committee presented a list of recommended names which, after being proposed and seconded by the membership, were unanimously adopted.  Below is the full list of the nominated Directors;

Chairman              : Eng. Patrick Obath                       : Serving his 2nd term

: Managing Director – Eduardo and Associates

: Director – Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE)

Vice Chair           : Vimal Shah                                        : CEO – Bidco Oil Refineries Ltd

: Director – Kenya Association of Manufactures (KAM)

Directors             : Polycarp Igathe                               : MD – HACO Industries

: Vice Chair – Kenya Association Manufacturers (KAM)

: Christopher Wilson                     : MD – Biogas Power Holdings

:                      :Director – Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE)

: Dr. Cleopa Mailu:                           : CEO – Nairobi Hospital

: Chair – Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE)

: Richard Etemesi                             : MD – Standard Chartered Bank

: Chair – Kenya Bankers Association

: Kiprono Kitton                                               : Chair – Media Owners Association (MOA)

: Richard Muteti                              : CEO – Micro and Small Enterprises Federation (MSEF)

: Lucy Karume                                                   : Chair – Kenya Tourism Federation

: Muhoho Kenyatta                         : Chair & Director – Brookside Dairy Ltd

: Nick Nesbitt                                     : CEO – Kencall Ltd

: Rita Kavashe                                    : MD – General Motors East Africa Ltd

: Gloria Ndekei                                  : Chair – Women Entrepreneurship

: Development & Gender Equality

: Programme (WEDGE)

: Laila Macharia                             : Chair – Kenya Property Developers

Association

: Walter Ookok                       : Chair – Kenya Healthcare Federation

FEMNET validation workshop

The African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) held a validation workshop on a research on Promoting African Women’s Economic Empowerment through gender – responsive Trade Arrangements on 29th April 2011at Silver Springs Hotel. Kenya Flower Council Participated in the workshop.

FEMNET, a regional African organization working to promote women’s rights and development in Africa conducted a short-term research on Promoting African Women’s Economic Empowerment through gender – responsive Trade Arrangements between June – September 2010.  The research covered African countries namely Kenya, Egypt, Mali, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.

FEMNET undertook a study to assess the extent to which trade arrangements between African countries and the European Union facilitate African women’s economic empowerment and realization of their economic rights. Despite the women’s organizations’ involvement in the process in Kenya it was noted that the poverty eradication strategy plans and policies (PRSPs) in Kenya did not sufficiently integrate gender both in the analysis and in the action areas agreed upon. This meant that it would be difficult to have gender – responsive programmes implemented consistently.

The findings clearly indicated that understanding the nature of gender disparities and differences and taking the necessary actions to address them or appropriately recognize and respond to them not only promotes economic growth, but would make a substantial contribution to the reduction of poverty.

This research also indicated that women’s organizations were not taking a lead role in mobilizing and ensuring that they are involved in the processes of macroeconomic policies development and the formulation of the PRSPs. The major constraint was lack of knowledge, exposure, and capacity to undertake critical analysis of their macroeconomic policies and systems. Without the knowledge and skills it is difficult for them to monitor the impact of the policies. Women in their diversity must be at the decision making tables. To ensure that they have influence and participate effectively they must be aware of their power and potential, have the knowledge, skills and formidable networks and linkages to support their voices so that the proposals they make are taken seriously.
It was highlighted that women’s economic empowerment is one of the indicators of growth, development and success of the implementation of the PRSPs. As part of the process of implementation of the PRSPs and in particular the pillar on economic development, countries have entered into a number of trade arrangements and agreements with a whole range of partners. In particular most African countries consider Europe to be its nearest and best trading partner. The question therefore is to what extent are the trade ngements between Africa and Europe have to support women’s economic empowerment and identify gaps that need to be addressed
for example, through proposing social clauses to be incorporated in revised
trade agreements.
The during the validation workshop it was noted that Poor economic conditions in Africa are a major challenge and increasingly a cause of large numbers of women with tertiary education migrating to other parts of the world. This is a major concern for African governments that are investing heavily in their human resources by increasing and improving access to quality education for girls and women. It is also an alarm for gender activists as the female brain drain affects the gains made over the years in closing the gender gaps in leadership generally and in economic governance institutions specifically (though in the latter area there are still minimal gains in the context of Africa).

One key lesson highlighted in the Research Report is that development activities function much more effectively if all people, women and men, boys and girls are empowered to be fully involved in the processes. In this regard, the political, social, economic and cultural barriers that hinder women’s economic empowerment must be addressed as one of the ways to reverse the current female brain drain trends and reduce the feminization of poverty in Africa.

Agriculture Forum Urges African Countries to Share Knowledge

Knowledge sharing is the best way to help drive increased agricultural productivity in Africa, according to a pan-African agriculture advisory organization. The African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFASS) outlined the recommendation in its four-year strategic plan that was developed at its most recent summit in Accra, Ghana.

Participants at the symposium noted that in the past, a lack of cooperation between African farmers, researchers, and policy makers has hindered the widespread adoption of new research findings and technologies. Poor information exchange, a lack of sharing practices at the continental level, and low levels of networking were also cited as other causes.

The four year plan advocates for a wider dissemination of research outputs, increasing the uptake of new and improved technologies (including biotechnology), and committing to additional research to help improve knowledge sharing in Africa. The plan’s ultimate goal is to bring all national agricultural advisors together under a single information-sharing platform.

“AFAAS will stimulate the process in knowledge sharing and capacity building, organization sharing at both national levels through country chapters but also at continent level through AFAAS and linking up with other organizations like the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa and sub- regional organizations, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development and the African Union,” said AFAAS chair Salim Nahdy.

The Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) has identified agriculture as the most important industry for achieving six percent economic growth on the continent and for helping Africa meet the targets of its Millennium Development Goals.

Established in 2004, AFAAS goal is to create “Agricultural Advisory Services that effectively and efficiently contribute to sustained productivity and profitable growth of African agriculture.” In order to accomplish this goal, the organization seeks to “build partnerships at national, regional and international levels between agricultural advisory services and other institutions contributing to sustained growth and transformation of agriculture.”

Improvements in agricultural advisory services, like the ones proposed by AFAAS, have been identified by Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Yaw Effa Berfa, as essential for driving rural development and continuing to empower farmers.

FARA, which works in tandem with AFAAS to strengthen ties between researchers and farmers in Africa, hopes that increased information sharing will not only increase productivity but also help reduce poverty, increase incomes, and increase sustainable use of natural resources.

Source: Bridges Trade BioRes

Potential for Biofuels in Cutting Transport Sector Emissions?

With improvements in sustainability, the commercialization of biofuels in the transport sector could play a major role in reduction of carbon emissions, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). The report, released on 20 April, finds that by 2030, scale and efficiency improvements could lower the cost of biofuels to rival those of fossil fuels and begin to serve as a replacement for diesel, kerosene, and jet fuel.

“Biofuels will be needed to provide low-carbon fuel alternatives for planes, marine vessels and other heavy transport modes, and will eventually provide one fifth of emission reductions in the transport sector,” Bo Diczfalusy, IEA Director of Sustainable Energy Policy and Technology, said in a statement.

Biofuels, once considered a silver bullet for tackling climate change and agricultural overproduction, have come under fierce criticism over the past few years. But the IEA report provides evidence that with improvements in sustainability certification, biofuel production and use could have positive environmental, social and economic impacts. It would increase as a transport fuel from 2 percent today to 27 percent in 2050.

In early April, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels launched a set of comprehensive sustainability criteria aimed at ensuring that certified sustainable biofuels were obtained without harming the environment or violating human rights.

The report says that greater investment in research, development and demonstration (RD&D) is necessary to improve conversion and land-use efficiency in order to lower costs to levels that can unlock the potential of biofuels.

“Support policies should incentivize the most efficient biofuels in terms of life-cycle greenhouse-gas performance which ensures food security and biodiversity are not compromised,” IEA said in their press release.

Emphasized within the report, is the importance that international cooperation will play in lowering barriers to trade in biomass and biofuels. Developing countries‟ successful participation in sustainable biofuel production particularly hinges on international involvement in capacity building and technology transfer.

More information

The IEA Technology Roadmap: Biofuels for Transport can be found in  http://www.iea.org/papers/2011/biofuels_roadmap.pdf.

Source: Bridges Trade BioRes

Ethiopia has five-year flower plan

Ethiopia looks likely to significantly grow in importance as a flower-producing nation over the coming years, mounting a challenge to Kenya’s dominance in the flower trade in Africa.

Speaking last week, Tsegaye Abebe, head of Ethiopian Horticultural Producers and Exporters Association said land leases for flower cultivation are expected to double in the next five years, tripling the country’s income from horticultural produce to £335m. Ethiopia currently has 1,600 hectares given over to flower production and 90 companies – including many foreign firms – have invested.

The country is offering foreign investors an attractive range of incentives including the exemption from import duties, a five-year tax break and access to bank finance.

At the end of April the Ethiopian government founded the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency, with help from Bill Gates’ eponymous charitable foundation, with the aim of doubling the country’s agricultural production over the next five years.

Source: Professional Florist

Hoping for Respect to Mothers…

Last week – No. 17 – cut flower prices in the Dutch auctions went up in some +15% from the level of week 16. Comparisons to 2010 are not simple, since last year the impact of the volcanic ash cloud was still around. Anyhow, Mother’s Day of 2010 was the best (price wise) in the last 20 years. Everybody waits to see how this event will end-up this year, when the last weeks were not the very best.

The summer-like spring weather causes early flowering of the European summer flowers, and consequently larger supply of cut flowers. Early May has always quite a number of ‘flower days’’ with the top event – ‘big’ Mother’s Day on 8 May. Dutch traders and auction experts expected therefore vigorous demand this week; however no top prices were predicted, since the supply is massive. There were rumors on shortage in Colombian supply (see article in the Global News section) that might increase the US demand for Dutch flowers; but so far no statistical evidence on such a trend could be noted.

Week 16 – the Easter week, generated disappointing prices to most products, compared to the same week in 2010 (-13% in average), but price level was higher (+10%) than in 2009. Yet, some products got better prices than last year; among them: anemones, anthurium, chrysant’s, large gerbera, helianthus, ranunculus, and all lilies.

Period 4 – weeks 13 through 16 – indeed was characterized by low prices, compared to last year (-10%). However, thanks to increased quantities (+12.5%), it had the highest auctions’ turnover ever, and some +2.5% more than in period 4 of 2010. Also the quantities, some 1.2 billion flower stems, and 95.5 million plant units, were the highest ever for this period in the auctions.

Comparing to 2010 – one should bear in mind that last year this time, Europe was shrouded by the Icelandic volcanic ash, which eliminated air shipments landings, and created shortage of import flowers’ supply. This ash cloud also had a cooling effect on the weather, preventing consumers from going out to the nature. When they celebrate at home – they buy more flowers.
And most of all, in contradiction to pre-estimations that late Easter is good for the floriculture products’ market, it is clear that the combination of summer-like weather and late Easter is harmful.

Especially was it hard to the prices of tulips and large roses, and also to aster and lisianthus.
The effect of the earlier-than-normal blossom of the Dutch summer flowers is illustrated through the data on peony: compared to last year, there were now +50% more stems, and the average price was –25% lower.

The floriculture industry is hoping that consumers, as always, will respect their mothers with a bunch of flowers or a nice potted plant.

Regional Council Kenya is about to Take Off

Chairman Bernard Oosterom, and Peter Otto, manager of cooperative affairs at FloraHolland visited Kenya and met Kenyan members. Seven meetings were held throughout the country. This was the first official step towards the formation of the FloraHolland Regional Council in Kenya.
The initiative for establishing this Regional Council derived from FloraHolland Board’s policy to deepen the members’ involvement, as well as from the Kenyan members’ interest to be involved in the decision making process in the council. A regional council can be formed with a set minimum of 50 members per region. With the thirteen councils already active in the Netherlands, Belgium and  Israel, FloraHolland will have sixteen regional councils in total.
The participating growers at the meetings were Kenyan, Indian, British and Dutch owners of floriculture companies.
Kenyan products achieved about € 270 million turnover at FloraHolland in 2010. The products came from 120 suppliers of which 59 are members. These members realized about 75% of the turnover. The roses area of some 2,400 ha in Kenya is expected to expand with some 100 ha this year and up to 200 ha in 2012. The summer flowers acreage is about 1,000 ha.

“This group is very interested in the way our cooperative is structured and members are willing to be involved in our strategic decision. We will act with this Regional Council exactly the same way as we do with our other councils,” said Bernard Oosterom. “I am looking forward to the moment when the first council members will utter their voices in a general meeting of all our Regional Councils”.

And Peter Otto explains: “As usual, the Board will nominate the first Council which will take place this summer; we are now approaching possible candidates. This council will function the same way as the existing councils i.e. as a ‘sounding board’ and is advisory to the Board”.
‘Many topics and developments at FloraHolland affect us as well, so the Regional Council Kenya will increase the involvement and feeling with the auction in Holland’ stated Warmolt Tonckens of Molly Flowers. Umang Patel of Star Flowers said he is hoping that the Regional Council will “shorten the distance between Kenyan members and FloraHolland’s Board for the benefit of both parties”. He added that there are plenty of long-term strategic issues to discuss.

Source: Floraholland

FloraHolland and Zami BV join forces

Flower auction FloraHolland has entered into a collaboration with Zami BV. The office of Zami BV has been moved from Lisserbroek since 2nd May 2011 to a new location at FloraHolland Rijnsburg. Zami will co-operate with FloraHolland Import Handling on certain handling components. The goal of this collaboration is to strengthen growers’ position in the international supply chain,as well as to tie international direct flows of flowers to the marketplaces of FloraHolland.
Zami will continue to operate as an independent business under its current management.
FloraHolland is pleased with the logistics and handling synergies to be achieved by working with Zami. This step provides Zami with access to a variety of services from the marketplaces of FloraHolland .
Zami BV consists of Zami Handling, ZB Roses en Zami. Zami is a trading company that traditionally imports summer flowers and roses from Africa and sells them directly to Dutch buyers.

Pre-treatment agent no longer available

As of July 1, 2011 the pre-treatment agent bactericide for cut flowers will no longer be available. Therefore you would be wise to buy a stock of the product which will be sufficient for your needs until December 2011.
Be warned that, from January 2012 onwards, it is prohibited to use the product or keep it in stock.

Please check the portal www.MyFloraholland.com or www.vbn.nl for more information.

Source ; Floraholland

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