March Issue 5 2012

KFC Members win Awards for Grower Competition during IFTEX 2012

The first International Flower Trade Expo IFTEX was successfully held last week (21-23rd March 2012) in Nairobi Kenya. The trade fair organized by HPP Exhibitions an associate member of KFC was a success bringing together Growers, buyers, services and products providers in one venue.

Over 120 companies from over 15 countries including growers from Kenya exhibited in the show.  It is estimated that over 2000 visitors attended the three day show.

HPP organized for the grower competition where the winner was Xpressions Flora receiving a Platinum Award for being elected “Best Grower” of the expo. Gold was there for Harvest Flowers scooped Gold, Silver went to Magana Flowers and Bronze to Sian Agriflora.  The four farms are members of the Kenya Flower Council.

In the breeder competition, Danziger from Israel won the Platinum Award for “Best Breeder” of the trade fair. NIRP East Africa Ltd received the Golden Award, Plantas Continental from Spain Silver and Interplant from Holland was awarded with Bronze.

Updates on EPA

1. Agriculture & Development:

a)      Export taxes: The final decision is now at the Ministerial level having failed to reach a consensus at the technical level. The EAC reiterates that this is A WTO issue and needs not be included in the EPA. They cite a recent case where the EU took China to the WTO on export taxes imposed on rare metals.

b)      On issues of trade in goods & services, trade related issues, good governance, money laundering and sustainable development, the EAC suggests that it is not possible to hold comprehensive and conclusive consultations before July 2012 – the date set of the next round of negations. Consequently EAC has requested that these are dealt with later.

c)      EU 1528: Emanates from a unilateral rescue offer from the EU to countries who signed the interim agreement at the end of 2007, principally to allow continued access pending conclusion of the comprehensive Agreement.  It can be terminated by the EU at its pleasure.

d)      Derogation from the EAC is not an option for Kenya. Besides the objective of the Agreement was /is to encourage regional integration

e)      Rules of Origin:  Flowers and Ornamentals have been included in the list for products for accumulation for value addition. Industry has been requested to indicate how much value this brings to flowers in the region.  For instance importing flowers from South Africa or  Ethiopia, to be used for bulking, consolidation, diversification of products  or bouquet making,  for purposes of  re exporting

f)      Sensitive List:  Technically, this list cannot be opened to make any changes as has been suggested by parliamentarians. However the ECA is lobbying to provide for review after every five years to accommodate any unanticipated developments.

  1. 2. Developments in the legal text which centered on dispute settlement.

a)      The EU is concerned that the EU is compelled to pay compensation and EAC is not

b)      Compensation for loss of revenue from taxes is not to limited to fiscal but open to concessions

c)      On Arbitration,  EU requests the EAC to develop rules for themselves

d)      Costs of translation to be borne by the EU

e)      Tools and timeframes for monitoring  the implementation agreement need to be drawn

f)      Text on taxation has been referred to KRA.

European Commission levels playing field for European business in international procurement markets
On March 21st, the European Commission proposed a new regulation which aims at increasing the incentives for EU’s trading partners that open up their public procurement markets to EU bidders. The main objective of the initiative is to ensure European businesses have fair access to worldwide public procurement markets. The proposal also aims to ensure that all companies (both European and non-European firms) are on an equal footing when it comes to competing for business in the EU’s lucrative public procurement market.

Public procurement expenditure amounts to €1 000 billion per year worldwide and is an essential lever for kick-starting growth, especially during an economic crisis. The EU’s public procurement market is traditionally very open. However, this is not always matched by a similar openness by the EU’s main trading partners. Worldwide, only a quarter of the world’s procurement market is open for international competition.

Move into the new venue: Dubai World Trade Centre

The IPM DUBAI is continuing its success with a new venue in 2012. For the first time, the leading trade show for the horticultural industry in the Gulf region will be held at Dubai World Trade Centre on a new date November 19 – 21, 2012. The venue is located in the busiest and most important commercial district of Dubai and offers the exhibitors and visitors best conditions and opportunities.

The IPM DUBAI will is the most important horticultural trade show in the Middle East and will present a comprehensive range available from the fields of plants, technology, floristry, sales promotion as well as plant maintenance and logistics. In this respect, the fair will offer a complete overview of the latest developments and trends in the green sector by the Persian Gulf.

For more info and booking contact Mr. Xiang Zhi, Fon +49-(0)2 01-72 44-727, or mail


Market access & Phytosanitary issues

Market access & Phytosanitary issues

Union Fleurs is continuing to enjoy a regular dialogue and exchange with both DG TRADE and DG SANCO of the European Commission as regards Phytosanitary issues and trade-related matters to ensure stable access of floricultural products into the EU market as well as exports of those products from the EU to external markets. Union Fleurs was recently involved in a brainstorming session with the DG TRADE SPS team together with other agricultural sectors to reflect on ways to better identify key barriers to export in priority export markets and to best address urgent difficulties encountered by operators in those markets.

EU/Colombia Free Trade Agreement on its way to ratification…

The EU – Colombia/Peru Free Trade Agreement was initialled in March 2011 and is due to be signed by the European Council (Heads of State of the EU27) in May 2012, after the EU Trade ministers gave the green light on 16 March. The European Parliament will also have to give its consent and it held a hearing on the issue in Brussels on 29 February 2012. The Vice-President of Colombia, Mr Angelino Garzon, and the EU Trade Commissioner, Mr Karel de Gucht, spoke at the hearing in favour of the agreement. Objections were raised, however, by trade unions and some MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) and civil society representatives. Their objections were primarily focused on labour and human rights issues in Colombia and Peru. The Parliament is expected to vote on it in September/October this year. Based on the principle of regional integration, the deal remains open for signature by Ecuador & Bolivia, the other two members of the Andean Community.

… while Ecuador is set to sit again at the negotiation table with the EU

In order to respond to growing concerns from the private sector over the anticipated loss of its GSP + duty-free market access to the EU market from 2014, Ecuador is now determined to come back to the negotiating table with the EU which it left in July 2009. This was the news Union Fleurs received during a meeting with Ecuador’s Agriculture Minister, Mr Santiago Leon, and Vice-Minister of Commerce, Mr Francisco Rivadeneira on 20 March in Brussels. Following exploratory talks with the EU Trade Commissioner, Mr Karel de Gucht, and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Ms Catherine Ashton, both Ministers seemed confident that a deal can be secured soon in order to ensure the long-term continuity of Ecuador’s free market access to the EU post-2013. Pressure will certainly continue from business operators across the agricultural and food chains, both in the EU and in Ecuador, to achieve a swift and constructive outcome of these negotiations.

Kenyan farming software solution wins prize

A Software developed by four Kenyan university students to help farmers monitor weather and soil conditions has won a US prize. Known as the Mkulima Calculator (M-Cal), the software recently won the students a US$7,000 prize from the US State Department Software Competition. The M-Calc uses a mobile phone platform to send information on weather patterns, soil types and other information to farmers to help them make informed decisions on what and when to plant.

Using information from reliable databases like the United Nations and farm oriented government agencies, the M-Calc is also a farmer’s resource base for farming methods and other information necessary to improve yields. In order to benefit from this service, farmers need to register the geographic location of their farm online. They then have to activate the service on their mobile phones in order to receive updates and requests.

The programme uses artificial intelligence, meaning farmers can estimate yields per hectare by sending rainfall figures, soil type and the size of the farm to a special number.

“Apart from benefiting the individual farmer, M-Calc is also expected to aid in environmental conservation since it nurtures informed and sustained farming methods”, said 23-year-old Abdalah Salumu, a Bachelor of Business Information Technology student at Strathmore University in Nairobi. Salumu developed the software alongside Elisha Bwatuti, Harris Dindi and Andrew Abuoga.

Predicting weather patterns is a major issue for African farmers struggling to cope with climate change and the resulting losses brought about by failing crops.

Source: African farming> Mwangi Mumero

Five New Roses from David Austin

Tranquillity – Photo: David Austin Roses

David Austin Roses from Wolverhampton (UK) are launching five new English Roses at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. They will be available to order as bare roots from May 21st for delivery from November 2012 onwards.

‘Tranquillity’ is an English Musk hybrid. The flowers are, according to this English rose breeder, of a beautifully rounded shape with neatly placed petals, making up a perfect rosette. The buds are lightly tinged with yellow but as the flowers open they become pure white. There is a light apple fragrance. The growth is upright, gradually curving outwards at the top. ‘Tranquillity’ has typical light green Musk Rose foliage and is almost thornless.

‘Royal Jubilee’, an English Alba hybrid, has been named to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. In the press release, the breeder refers to this variety as “a unique rose for a unique occasion”. The deep pink flowers are large and of a deep chalice shape; the petals are incurving so the stamens within can just be seen. The blooms have a rich fruity fragrance with hints of blackcurrant. ‘Royal Jubilee’ has very few thorns.

‘The Lark Ascending’ is again an English Musk hybrid. This variety illustrates the great diversity that is now to be found among English Roses. The flowers are cupped in shape and of a light apricot colouring. Produced from the ground upwards in heads of up to fifteen, they are medium in size, with about twenty petals in each bloom. They have a light fragrance that has been observed to vary from one flower to another. Some of them are Tea scented while others move towards the scent of myrrh.
David Austin says in the press release, “There are few roses as popular as those of deep crimson colouring, and none so difficult to breed”.

However, their new rose, ‘Heathcliff’, an Old Rose hybrid, is a beautiful addition to English Roses of this colour. It has large, fully double flowers of a deep rosette shape. The deep crimson colour has a certain softness that reminds some of the old red Gallica Roses. It has shiny, deep green leaves and rather upright growth. Its fragrance is pleasing and rather unusual – Tea Rose with a mixture of Old Rose and just a hint of cedar wood.

English Leander hybrid, ‘Boscobel’, bears rich salmon coloured flowers. “They commence as red buds which open at first to pretty cups, gradually developing into perfectly formed blooms of classic rosette formation”, says the rose breeder. The numerous small petals are of varying shades, mingling to provide a most pleasing effect. The delightful, medium-strong myrrh fragrance has a hawthorn character with hints of elderflower, pear and almond. It forms an upright shrub of medium size, with dark green, glossy foliage.
All new varieties, according to David Austin Roses, are vigorous and healthy.

Royal Jubilee – Photo: David Austin Roses

The Lark Ascending – Photo: David Austin Roses

Heathcliff – Photo: David Austin Roses

Boscobel – Photo: David Austin Rose

Source: New Plants and Flowers

Designing and Implementing Agro-input Marketing strategies in developed and developing countries Training

The International Fertilizer Development Center have organized a International Training Program on Designing and Implementing Agro-input Marketing strategies in developed and developing countries scheduled to take place in USA (Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Maryland and Washington, D.C.) on July 23 – Aug 3, 2012.

The program Fee is $1,900 if you register by June 23, 2012 or $2,100 if you register after June 23, 2012. If interested you can register on-line by clicking or by filling out the registration form and returning via e-mail to Participants should be fluent in English.


The program is designed for mid- to senior-level officials/managers working in public or private sector companies involved in all aspects of fertilizer and agro-input marketing. This includes private sector officials in the fertilizer and agribusiness industries, international procurement agents, major agro-dealers, import/export managers, strategic planners and marketing department managers who are concerned with the agro-input supply chain.

Government officials, who have a major supervisory and/or regulatory role in fertilizer marketing, including procurement and distribution or the development of agro-input policies, will find this program very useful.

Executives and managers of fertilizer and agricultural input organizations, as well as innovative farmers, also will benefit from the program.

The program is also aimed at representatives of donor organizations and international development agencies involved in funding agricultural input development and private sector projects in developing countries.


The objectives of the training program and study tour are to:

  • Improve participants’ knowledge and understanding of agro-input marketing strategies in an open and competitive market environment and enhance their analytical, design, planning and implementation skills.
  • Familiarize the participants with agro-input business processes.
  • Provide an opportunity for participants from many countries and backgrounds to exchange information, ideas and experiences.
  • Expose participants to trends and challenges in the agro-input market.
  • Experience opportunities available in the U.S. for agribusiness networking with privately owned agro-input companies at different levels (manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, etc.)

For more info contact: IFDC Training and Workshop Coordination Unit, Tel: +1 (256) 381-6600 or visit

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