June Issue 3 2012

The Naivasha Horticultural Fair 2012 Officially Launched

The Kenya Flower Council attended the official launch of Naivasha Horticultural Fair 2012 on 18th June 2012 at the Kenya Commercial Bank headquarters. The event was hosted by Kenya Commercial Bank who are also the sponsors of the big event. In attendance were Horticultural Crop Development Authority (HCDA), and Vice Chair of the NAIVASHA HORTICULTURAL FAIR Mr Richard Macgonnel.

Naivasha Hortifair is scheduled to take place on Friday 14th & Saturday 15th September 2012 at the Naivasha Sports Club. The show was started in 2002 to bring together exhibitors and visitors in a spacious and pleasant environment at affordable prices. Naivasha is scenic, central and home to one of the largest horticultural communities in East Africa. Every year the fair have seen the numbers of exhibitors and visitors rise as the Naivasha Horticultural Fair gets bigger and better. Every year the fair attracts managers and directors of almost all the flower farms in Kenya, so the exhibitors are able to meet current and potential clients of the highest level. KFC will participate in the fair as a major stakeholder and partner.

According to KFC, the challenges affecting the sector include non-remittance of VAT to the farms, impact of climatic change, stringent market standards requirements and also undue anxiety as a result of delay in the determination of the EAC EU EPAs.  KFC thanked the organizers and sponsors of this charitable event which plays a corporate social responsibility role by giving back to the community and hoped that this year’s show will attract even more exhibitors and visitors.

The Naivasha Horticultural Fair vice chair Mr. Richard Macgonnel in his presentation said America is a huge developing market together with China and India.

McGonnel who is also a flower farmer added that the current biggest challenge in the sector is the high operating cost, caused by rising fuel charges. He however said that the continued economic crisis in the Euro zone will not have any significant impact in the flower export. “Flowers are a necessity in Europe. Again Greece which is much affected is not one of our biggest markets since it does a lot of farming,” McGonnel added.

Apart from exhibiting different types of flowers, the fair will also involve adopting of Nyamati village in Naivasha, by building a secondary school, erecting domestic water system to over 30,000 residents, and refurbishing of the local maternity clinic and the road accident emergency centre.

Mr. Peter Kimondo, the Kenya Commercial Bank’s Group Chief Business Officer, called on the financial institutions to invest in the flower sector which he said is the most resilient sector even in economic crisis. Among other sponsors and partners, KCB contributed KShs 3 million in this year’s fair.

“The flower sector is large, and is also a huge consumer of cash. Take an example of one hectare of a green house which costs about Sh1 million. (Also) a typical flower farm employs close to 5,000 people,” said Kimondo.

The participants were informed that Kenya earned Sh91.6 billion from the sale of flowers, fruits and vegetables in 2011, with flowers contributing Kshs 45.5 billion.

Rio +20 ACP UNDP  MOU

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP Group) have agreed to join forces in fostering south-south cooperation, promoting inclusive economic growth as a vehicle for sustainable development in developing countries, and providing support for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through the exchange of information and views.

In a special presentation on Thursday to the ACP Committee of Ambassadors on the Rio+20 Conference which took place on 15th June, United Nations Under Secretary General, Chair of the UN Development Group and Administrator for the UNDP Helen Clark said: “Unless issues of sustainability and equity are addressed simultaneously, the impressive human development gains of recent decades will not be sustained. Economic, social, and environmental objectives are not competing goals to be traded off against each other, but rather are interconnected objectives which need to be pursued together. Ours must be an enduring and growing partnership to help our mutual member countries symbolized by today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the ACP and UNDP”.

Secretary General of the ACP Secretariat Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas said: “The ACP Group embodies a coalition of most of the poorest countries on earth, striving for a collective voice in the global arena, while sharing and drawing from each other’s experiences in the spirit of south-south solidarity and cooperation. We hope that through this partnership with the UNDP we can leverage on each other’s capacities in order to empower our peoples to drive sustainable development in their own countries and engage them as genuine partners in the world economic system.”

The ACP and UNDP have agreed to support regional and intra-regional integration, and contribute to the sustainable development of their mutual member countries through initiatives related but not limited to trade, private sector development, renewable energy and climate change among others.

The ACP Group consists of 79 member States, including 40 Least Developed Countries and 36 Small Island Developing States. Founded by the 1975 Georgetown Agreement, the ACP Group supports unity and solidarity among its members and promotes sustainable development and the gradual integration of the ACP States into the global economy, within the framework of the ACP-European Union Partnership Agreement.

UNDP is on the ground in 177 countries and territories, serving in many respects as the operational arm of the United Nations (UN) at the regional and country levels. UNDP works with partners to promote sustainable development through poverty eradication, prevention of and enabling recovery from crisis, promotion of democratic governance, protection of the environment and advancement of women.

For more info visit: http://english.cri.cn/6966/2012/06/08/191s704662.htm

AgriQ Quest Ltd is now ISO/IEC 17025 Certified

AgriQ Quest Limited an associate member of the Kenya Flower Council was awarded the ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation certificate by the Kenya Accreditation Service KENAS this week. The accreditation scope includes the testing of Copper (Cu) and Zinc (Zn) in water as well as Salmonella and Coliforms in food samples. This will later be expanded to include more parameters and matrices.

Mr. Fredrick Muthuri, Managing Director AgriQ Quest Ltd (left) receives the accreditation certificate from Mr. Sammy Milgo (right), Managing Director KENAS.

Kenya and USA in partnership on climate change

PS, MEMR, Mr. Ali Mohamed and the USAID-Kenya mission Director, Ms. Erna Kerst exchanging the memorada after signing it at the Ministry’s boardroom.

Temperatures are going to be on the rise in many parts of Kenya from up 2% to 4% due to climate change. According to the PS in the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources Mr. Ali D. Mohamed, the Government has developed the National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS) which requires over sh 235 billion shillings to implement.

Weather patterns will be greatly affected witnessed through heavy rainfall leading to flooding and hot weather conditions resulting to drought. These and many other conditions, PS Mohamed observed posed danger to the environment as climate change altered health, agriculture and biodiversity in general.

He made these observations when he signed a memorandum of understanding   on Low Carbon pathway with United States government at a function held at the Ministry headquarters. Madam Anna Kerst USAID Kenya Mission director signed on behalf of her government.

Mr. Mohamed said that the government   has come up with plans to lower the flow of Carbon Dioxide as as resilience to climate change adaptation and mitigation. The PS  noted that through the partnership Kenya would access US expertise on low development strategies to address greenhouse gases emission of which it was required to report under the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC) every two years.

The implementation of the memorandum will be started in two months’ time. On the lucrative carbon trading PS Mohamed said that Africa was only able to tap only two percent. Kenya was currently implementing seven projects while 21 were underway.

Kenya: farmers gain from campaign flower growers

For Michael Kinyanjui Mbugua, the possibility of earning up to Kenya Shilling 60,000 a month from his farm on the slopes of the Aberdare range sounded like a dream that was too good to believe. Three years ago, his two and a half acre piece of land hardly produced enough to feed his family.

“The slopping topography of my farm made it very difficult for me to cultivate anything meaningful, when rains come all the top soil would be swept away leaving the land bare,” said the farmer from Wanjohi, Nyandarua County. Today, his farm is a model of what proper husbandry can do to increase yields while conserving the environment.

Besides growing potatoes, carrots, and onions, Mr. Mbugua has introduced dairy cattle which he feeds on napier grass planted in strips to protect the farm from erosion. His two cows produce about 40kg of milk daily. He plans to add another cow soon.

But the transformation of his land could not have been possible without the introduction of the Payment for Environmental Services (PES) system.

Over the years flower farms on the shores of Lake Naivasha have borne the biggest blame for both polluting and over-exploiting lake waters. The lake is a key source of irrigation water for an extensive flower belt that contributes about three per cent of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

But now flower farm owners are giving back to the society by putting in place a system that will save the lake from pollution. Speaking during a PES members’ meeting recently Sarah Higgins, a prominent farmer in Naivasha, said the scheme was a good idea meant to bring together the two groups to save the lake from destruction.

“Farmers have been sensitized on proper husbandry and one thing that has been learnt is that even without fertilizer protecting the top soil from erosion helps improve yields for farmers.

PES is proving a worthwhile undertaking and that is why we would like to see more investors in large scale flower farms, hotels, and fishing join so that more farmers upstream can benefit and help in the conservation campaigns of this beautiful ecosystem,” she said.

He is one of the farmers who are piloting a market-based mechanism where land owners are rewarded by service beneficiaries in a programme that was initiated in 2008 by the World Wide Fund (WWF) and CARE International. There are 765 farmers under the PES programme conserving a total of 107 acres of land that is also under cultivation.

WWF’s Lake Naivasha Landscape Project coordinator Robert Ndetei said farmers like Mr. Mbugua undertake land use transformation that provides ecosystem services. “For this service, they are rewarded financially by the beneficiaries. However, this linkage requires contractual agreements negotiated between the ecosystem stewards and beneficiaries making PES a benefit sharing scheme.

“In the case of Lake Naivasha, the ecosystem service derived from conservation work in the upper catchment is enough good quality water as it addresses the problem of siltation and eutrophication (dissolved nutrients) in the lake,” said Mr Ndetei. He said that PES was taking the form of carbon trading, where upstream land owners are sellers while the various business concerns downstream are buyers of the services.

“Plans are underway to upscale the scheme internally and externally by engaging more buyers and sellers to increase the area covered for conservation,” said Mr Ndetei.

LANAWRUA has already come up with contribution thresholds for hoteliers based on commercial size (star rating) and for commercial users, irrigators, and ranchers. The rates are proposed based on daily water use.

A four and five star hotels pay Sh250,000 under the PES, while camps pay Kenya Shilling 80,000 annually. The funds go into the PES kitty and are used as incentives to participating land owners.

Mr Ndetei said that the money is given in the form of vouchers to purchase farm inputs and technical support to the farmers. Although the biggest challenge is to attract more service buyers in order to increase the number of farmers under the programme, Mr Ndetei said that farmers who have benefited from the programme were taking up agroforestry, zero-grazing, and planting of fruit trees to increase their incomes.

Source: Hortibiz

US: Value of floriculture crops down by 2%

The 2011 wholesale value of floriculture crops in the US is down 2 percent from the revised 2010 valuation. This can be learned from the USDA’s Floriculture Crops 2011 Summary, which was recently published.

The summary is based on data from the 15 USA states with the majority of this industry’s production. The total crop value at wholesale for the 15-State program for all growers with $10,000 or more in sales is estimated at $4.08 billion for 2011, compared with $4.15 billion for 2010.

California continues to be the leading State with crops valued at $1.01 billion, down slightly from the 2010 value. Florida, the next largest producer is up 1 percent from the prior year to $835 million in wholesale value. These two States account for 45 percent of the 15-State total value.
For 2011, the top 5 States are California, Florida, Michigan, Texas, and North Carolina, which account for $2.73 billion, or 67 percent, of the 15-State total value.

The number of producers for 2011, at 5,763, is down 7 percent in the 15 States compared with the 2010 count of 6,164.

Area Used for Production: In the 15-State program, total covered area for floriculture crop production was 712 million square feet (6,615 ha), down 2 percent from the 2010 area of 730 million square feet (6,780 ha).

for a full report visit http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/current/FlorCrop/FlorCrop-05-31-2012.pdf

Source: FloraHolland Newsletter

The Netherlands: export flowers and plants 15% higher

In May, the Dutch export of flowers and ornamental plants went up by 15%, compared to May last year. According to figures of the Dutch trade board HBAG, the export until May increased by 6% to a value of € 2.7 billion.

The increase in May is mainly due to higher prices at the Dutch auctions. The export of flowers in May increased by 17% to €370 million and the export of indoor and outdoor plants by 14% to € 267 million.

The Dutch export to the southern European countries Italy, Spain, Portugal, Italy and especially Greece has decreased this year. This is due to the economic problems in these countries. The higher prices are an extra obstacle for the export. Also the export to France and Belgium is going down, but to a lesser extent than to the Mediterranean countries.

The export figures to northern Europe were better, like to Germany (+7%), the UK (+12%) Sweden (+16%) and Norway (+31%). In Eastern Europe, Russia is the winner with an export increase of 41% to € 133 million. The export to Poland decreased by 6%. This is due to the growing local production, in particular of anthurium, cymbidium, phalaenopsis and rose.

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