April Issue 3 2012

A journey to Naivasha and environs….. Compliance in flower growing business

Flower Growers continue to proactively strive for responsible and safe production of cut flowers, while protecting the natural environment and promoting the welfare of all farm staff.

Through the Lake Naivasha Growers Group, growers have relentlessly remained at the forefront of stewardship of the Lake Naivasha, by initiating effective measures on the usage of available water equitably and responsibly to ensure that all water sources, including the Lake are used in a manner that minimizes wastage of water as well as ensuring the most efficient use. This is done by way of use of hydroponic techology in feeding  the flowers, compared to other methods such as overhead irrigation, ensuring that each crop is preciously given only the amount of  water it needs, thus avoiding wastage.

In addition, approval for  abstracting and use of water is given by Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA) where water usage by growers is monitored. All abstractions are metered, enabling growers  to monitor usage at every point .  Flower Growers are commited to  ensuring the sustainable use and protection of Lake Naivasha and its catchment area. They have developed industry best practices knowing water is an infinite reosurce that needs to be used responsibly for sustainability.

According to a survey report by Lake Naivasha Water Resource Users Association LANAWRUA), the actual volume of the water abstracted is 82% of the volume allowed  where by 98% of the volumes  are under permits.

Some growers monitor the quality of water from the lake ,Lake levels and physical  parameters such as pH and EC where water samples are collected regularly and sent for Microbial and full chemical/mineral analyses to Government accredited  laboratories every 3 months and  results are sent to various regulatory  agencies  and shared with local research institutions.

Technological advances have allowed for a reduction in water usage by the farms.  Most farms are currently practicing rain water harvesting and a water recycling method to minimize water extraction and usage from the lake.  In many farms, flowers grown under hydroponic technology a system where water can be easily collected through troughs and recycled back. Here the growing is not done on soil hence there are no environmental impacts.

Farms have put in place strict measures to ensure the prevention of pollution of the environment where waste water is treated before disposal through acceptable means as outlined in the Environment Management and Coordination Act (EMCA99) and  monitored  by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).

They work closely with government agencies dealing with environmental issues, including water use. For example  National Enviroment Management Authority (NEMA), Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA), KMFRI (Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute), the Ministry of Water, LNGG ( Lake Naivasha Growers Group), LNRA (Lake Naivasha Riparian Association) and LANAWRUA ( Lake Naivasha Water Resource Users Association).

Rehabilitation and restoration of the highland areas that form the L. Naivasha catchment is a priority with  farms  donating tree seedlings annualy to the local community to support catchment rehabilation efforts.

Compliance by Small Scale flower Growers

The number of dynamic small scale holders in Kenya has grown immensely in the past few years majoring in varieties of summer flowers which are labour intensive.  They include eryngium, mobidique, claspedia, scabiosa, agapanthus, Ornis, carnations, Lilies among others.

The small holders are already implementing most of the requirements to meet market standards especially on health and safety environmental issues among others.

The KFC Smallholders Code of Practice of 2002 has been reviewed through a KFC – WWF Project on “Capacity building to promote responsible water use by Lake Naivasha Flower growers contributing to sustainable investment” to meet basic local and international requirements including GlobalGAP for market access.

Training on the implementation of the Code and farm Audits on smallholders from Kinangop and Kipipiri in Nyandarua County were undertaken successfully in December 2011. Five groups namely; Mukungi Floriculture, Tulaga, Muitigrow, Thayu, and Machinery were subjected to audits against the code. The audits revealed that the main problem with the growers is that they do not keep records as they do their business.

A journey to Naivasha and environs……….. Environmental Initiatives around Lake Naivasha

Imarisha Naivasha initiative

Through “Imarisha Naivasha” project the industry has partenered with the Goverment, markets, other productive sectors in Naivasha, to coordinate activities geared to ensuring the conservation and protection of the greater Naivasha water catchment area for sustainability. They  Seeks to address the weaknesses of past ventures, with particular attention being bestowed upon a multi-stakeholder participatory governance structure that shall ensure effective coordination, good practice and accountability by the local communities, resource users, government agencies and partners.

Imarisha Naivasha is a unique initiative of the Kenya Government, and supported by the  HRH the Prince of Wales International Sustainability Unit (ISU). It was launched by the Prime Minister in April 2011.  The initiative Seeks to address the weaknesses of past ventures, with particular attention being bestowed upon a multi-stakeholder participatory governance structure that shall ensure effective coordination, good practice and accountability by the local communities, resource users, government agencies and partners.

A local Management Board was appointed, comprising elected representatives of the various main interest groups, including Masai pastoralists, Fishermen, Water resource users, Forest resource users, the Naivasha Town Council, Tourist/business sector, Civil society organizations, Smallholder farmers and Commercial growers.

The initiative recognizes the importance and builds on the existing public sector, private sector people participation (PPPP) involvement in resource management. The composition of the 11 person board is 2 Government representatives and 9 from the private sector

The Management Board has been given appropriate powers and legal authority to discharge its mandate. An Inter-Ministerial Technical Committee comprising twelve (12) Permanent Secretaries representing key Ministries was established to provide technical support and guidance to the Board.

Initial three year plan and budget defined and work on the management plan has commenced

• Participation in the formulation of research activities and NGO funded projects such as the ongoing WWF 1 year support programme and proposed 5 year programme, and projects funded by COOP, REWE and Marks and Spencer

• A roundtable group of the 7 major UK retailers has been formed and financial support is being finalized

• Preliminary meetings have been held with IDH and the Dutch floricultural industry to encourage their support

• The concept of a benchmark for sustainable business practice is being explored

Two donors have made some commitment:  The Swiss Co-op that intends to support Dr David Harper who has been researching the lake for 30 years and the Dutch Government that supports WWF. The proposals are believed to be entirely compatible with Imarisha Naivasha, and the Board shall seek to integrate them with the overall plan.

Achievements so far.

  • Tree-planting in the basin in partnership with MEMR and local community organizations
  • Restoration of the Naivasha sewerage treatment plant
  • Design of a Constructed wetland next to the conventional treatment works
  • Preparation to undertake strategic Environmental assessment of the Malewa delta as part of the Global Delta Alliance activities in Kenya.

A journey to Naivasha and environs …………..Payment for Ecosystem/Environmental services (PES) programmes

ayments for Ecosystem/Environmental Services (PES) is a mechanism where rewards are transferred from those who benefit from the environmental service to those who manage it. PES aims to change the incentives for land use in order to maintain or restore the desired environmental service. PES is being implemented by CARE International in Kenya in the upper catchment of River Malewa, the Main tributary to lake Naivasha.

The project involves small holder farmers implementing soil and water conservation on their farms thus reducing soil erosion and thus ensuring less turbid water flows in the rivers. This ultimately means less silt being carried into Lake Naivasha. The project has been going on since later 2009. The incentives are provided by the Lake Naivasha Water Resource Users Association (LANAWRUA) which represents 23 member commercial farms around Lake Naivasha, is composed of the Lake Naivasha Growers Group (LNGG) and the Lake Naivasha Riparian Association (LNRA).

In 2011, 504 Kenyan farmers received 799,724 Kenya Shillings (US$ 8,886) from industrialists and conservation groups around Lake Naivasha, for land use practices that ensure adequate flow of clean water into the lake through the Malewa River.

The cheque was received by Water Resources Director, Mr John Nyaoro (left) from LANAWRUA chairman Mr. Richard Fox (right) before handing it over to the Upper Turasha WRUA members (seen behind). PHOTO: WWF-Naivasha staff

The payment was the second for an environmental services scheme at the upper catchment area of the Malewa River. The first payment in May 2010 was of US$10,000 from the Lake Naivasha Water Resource Users Association (LANAWRUA) to 470 farmers in the catchment.

LANAWRUA presented two cheques to the Upper Turasha-Kinja and the Wanjohi Water Resource User Associations (WRUAs). The two WRUAs represent the 504 farmers.

Wanjohi WRUA received 438, 815 Kenya Shillings (US$4,903) while Upper Turasha WRUA received 360,909 Kenya Shillings (US$4,033). The upstream WRUAs are located in the Wanjohi  and Turasha sub-catchments of the Malewa River, which flows into Lake Naivasha from the western foothills of the Aberdare Mountains.

Lake Naivasha is crucial for Kenya’s horticulture and flower production, for geothermal power generation and for tourism around the lake and Nakuru town.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Kenya country office in partnership with CARE – Kenya has been piloting the Equitable Payment for Watershed Services (EPWS) scheme in Naivasha since 2008. The objective is to develop a viable mechanism of payments for watershed services that delivers sustainable natural resource management and improved livelihoods while serving as a learning model for further expansion and replication.

The EPWS scheme involves a mix of land use transformations by upstream farmers. These include:

  • rehabilitation and maintenance of riparian zones;
  • planting of grass strips;
  • building terraces along steep slopes;
  • reducing the use of agro-chemicals;
  • planting indigenous trees;
  • planting high yielding fruit trees; and
  • growing cover crops (potatoes).

These measures improve farm productivity and provide both nature and downstream users with quality water as a long-term environmental service.

The cash incentive from LANAWRUA enables land managers to get farm inputs for improved production. Other immediate, tangible benefits include:

  1. an observed increase in land productivity;
  2. reduced surface run-off (soil erosion), leading to reduction in sediment load in rivers flowing into the lake;
  3. increased availability of fodder which has increased milk yields;
  4. income from the sale of surplus fodder; and
  5. lower use of agro-chemicals, which is expected to reduce eutrophication (excessive flow of nutrients) in water bodies.

Farmers participating in this scheme receive high yielding potato and fruit trees for food security and income generation. They have also received training as para-professionals in soil and water conservation. These multiple benefits have motivated upstream farmers to continue with good farm practices.

During the first one year contract, 470 farmers were compensated for opportunity foregone by receiving US$10,000 from LANAWRUA on 20th May 2010. The reward ceremony held that day aroused interest and demand from more smallholder farmers to join the scheme. Due to the confidence built between ecosystem buyers and sellers, the second environmental service rewards event was marked on 29th June 2011. This time, it attracted a greater number of stakeholders compared to the previous event.

The benefits of participating in the PES scheme have attracted 618 farmers who have requested to be included.

New association promotes trade between Kenya and Germany

Aims at promoting economic relations and cooperation
in the field of trade and industry between the kenyan
government and the federal republic of Germany

NAIROBI (Xinhua) — Trade between Kenya and Germany is set to increase following the formation of a new trade association that will promote trade among small and medium scale enterprises of the two countries.

The German embassy in Nairobi announced on Thursday that the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Kenya has finally been formed following a bilateral agreement to establish the institution signed when German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Kenya last year.

“It aims at promoting economic relations and cooperation in the field of trade and industry between the Kenyan government and the Federal Republic of Germany – above all in the area of small and medium-sized enterprises,” said a statement from the German embassy.

The new institution will be headed by Ingo Badoreck.

Its formation means there are now six German institutions that are working to promote trade between the two countries.

The statement from the embassy said that the Delegation is “a representation of the German Association of Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK)”.

“It lobbies in the interest of business and facilitates investments in Germany as well as in Kenya by supporting companies, organizations and individual businesspeople from both countries.”

In July last year, Chancellor Merkel made her first visit to Kenya accompanied by a strong team of German business people, indicating German’s intentions of growing her trade relations with Kenya.

In addition to manufacturing and service industries, the German companies are eying opportunities in the infrastructure development taking place across the country.

“We want to do more with Kenya.

“But we have to make sure the conditions are right, there’s transparent tendering process and as little red tape as possible,” she said then.

Kenya has traditionally maintained strong relations with German in trade, development and culture.

Germany is among main supporters of Kenya’s development efforts through bilateral aid and concessional loans.

The new institution will work closely with the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI).

It focuses on small and medium scale enterprises which is a big win for such businesses in Kenya that are constrained in their efforts to look for export markets.

The focus offers opportunities for them to form partnerships with their German counterparts.

Although trade between the two countries is highly in favour of Germany in value because Kenya imports high value machinery, Kenya exports to Germany continue to grow from 55.8 million U.S. dollars in 2006 to 92.9 million dollars in 2010 according to statistics from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

Germany exports to Kenya rose from 257 million dollar in 2009 to 298 million dollars in 2010.

German imports from Kenya are mainly primary agricultural products without or with less value addition and include coffee, cut-flowers, fish, tea, spices, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Other products include handicrafts, semi-precious stones and textiles.

Source: Xinhua>coast News

World Gardening Fair at Hotel Okura

This year, the Hotel Okura Tokyo marks its 50th anniversary, and as part of the celebrations, the hotel will host the 12th Annual World Gardening Fair from May 1-6 at the Heian Room on the first floor of its main building.

At the fair, the spouses of ambassadors from 10 countries stationed in Japan will create original horticultural compositions for display. It will be a showcase of each country’s unique culture, tradition and natural environment, using trees and flowers representative of each country. The participants this year are the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Finland, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of Fiji, the Kingdom of Thailand, the Republic of Kenya, the Argentine Republic, India and Hungary.

Proceeds from the fair will be donated to the Northeast Japan Earthquake Restoration Fund.

For more information, call (03) 3505-6110 or visit www.hotelokura.co.jp/tokyo

Australian flower growers worry about imports

An increasing number of Australia’s flower growers fear the market will be overwhelmed with fresh cut flowers from overseas. This can be heard at an Australian radio report. China and Kenya are becoming bigger suppliers of roses and carnations. Australia’s biggest flower growing groups are calling for mandatory labels on flowers to show where they come from.

Listen to the radio report in which growers are getting interviewd

Source: Hortibiz

Ecuador has flower trail for tourists

Like Colombia has the Coffee Trail and Chile the Wine Trail, Ecuador now offers the Flower Trail. “It is a product that started two years ago in the country”, explains Cristina Guerrero, one of the managers of Expoflores.

The offer is to make a tour from Quito to the north or south of the country. One of the favorite destinations for this type of theme tourism is the canton of Pedro Moncayo, also known as the World Capital of the Rose.

There are 162 flower growers within this province. 25% of the roses exported by the country are produced in these farms.

The visit to the flower grower companies has an average duration of two hours. Bolívar Cevallos, owner of Galápagos Flores, explains that the stock plants start the production of roses at the age of six months. He also explains that the velvety red petals are the preferred ones by most of the people around the world. “The Russian market prefers stems larger than 80 centimeters with large buds, while in Uruguay, Chile and Canada they prefer smaller and more delicate roses”, he adds.

Karina Mendoza, Administrative Manager of Bella Rosa, says that the contacts are made through travel agencies. The visitors go over the greenhouses where flowers are harvested on a daily basis. Then, they go to the postharvest area and watch how the most graceful buds and slenderest stems are selected. Finally, they learn how the flowers are packed to start a long trip to Europe, North America or South America.

Bolívar Cevallos considers that the Flower Trail will contribute to gain more markets. “It is possible that some of the visitors prefer Ecuadorian flowers when remembering their visit to one of our farms”.

The cost for the tourist trails at the farms is USD 20. Twenty per cent of that amount goes to a workers’ common fund.

Source: Diario El Comercio > hortibiz

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