July Issue 2 2012

Naivasha Horticultural Fair 2012

The NAIVASHA HORTICULTURAL FAIR 2012 will be held on Friday 14th & Saturday 15th September 2012 at the Naivasha Sports Club.  The Horticultural Fair was started in 2002 to bring together exhibitors and visitors. All the proceeds go to charity.

All the money collected goes to local and national charities with a focus on, but not limited to, caring for woman and children.  Children homes, community clinics, HIV/AIDS projects, schools and hospitals all benefit, as well as small desperate case by case donations that make an enormous difference to people’s lives.

Water is life and………….a little water is a sea to an ant

The Kenya Flower Council organized a press tour to different flower growing regions in Kenya   with a mission to discover efforts made by various flower farms to harvest and manage the available water resources.

The journey stated with Athi River region, Isinya at the P. J. Dave Flower farm a member of KFC. The farm engages in vigorous water harvesting where they have constructed two dams with a water holding capacity of approximately 50,000 cubic metres.  All the rain water harvested from the farms 45 hectares greenhouse roofs is directed to the dams and later used to irrigate over 80,000 trees. They also use the water to irrigate maize, Sugarcane and other food crops grown within farm.

According to Mr. Peter Kiarie, the Administration Manager, the dam water is also used to refill underground aquifers through seepage which eventually feed the farm’s four boreholes whose water is used for irrigation in the greenhouses.

Due to the high levels of pH in the area, the farm employs reverse osmosis technology to purify the water before it’s fed to the flowers.

The next visit was to the Mt. Kenya region where two KFC member farms  Finlays Horticulture – Sirimon  farm and Tambuzi Limited played hosts.

At Sirimon, the Regional General Manager Mr. Mick Bartlett gave a highlight on the efforts made by Finlays farms in regard to water management to ensure water sufficiency. According to Mr. Bartlett, the farm invests approximately Kshs 22.5 million annually to manage its water and environment projects.

The farm harvests all the rainwater from the greenhouses on 750 hectare piece of land and directs it to four large reservoirs with a total holding capacity of 634,000 cubic metres. This water is adequate to irrigate the farm for four months

At Tambuzi, the Human Resource, Internal Auditor and Environment Manager Mrs. Christine Shikuku said the farm draws its water from River through a self-regulating ware. The technology regulates the water flowing to the reservoir through a trench with a slanting gradient that ensures water flows to the reservoir only when it reaches a certain level. This ensures that the farm does not draw water when the river goes below certain predetermined levels. The river cuts through the farm and the harvested water is directed to a 100,000 cubic metres reservoir. The farm has also drilled a borehole as an alternative source of water during dry spells.

Next was Naivasha region, Ol Njorowa Farm where every drop of rain is harvested and stored in 5 reservoirs. This water is collected from the roofs of the farms 20 hectares greenhouses. The water is sufficient to irrigate the farm for four weeks without requiring any other source of water. And to boost the reservoirs, the farm has sunk two boreholes to serve the farm during dry spells.

According to Mr. David Mousley, every drop of water is vital. He challenged the Government and Non- governmental Organizations to help farmers build capacity capacity to harvest rain water. It was noted that the Lake Naivasha water levels are high following the heavy rains experienced in the country recently.

Finally, the tour ended at Sian Agriflora in Njoro, Nakuru. The Farm Manager Mr. Laban Koima gave us a tour round the farm’s where we found two water reservoirs with a holding capacity of 140,000 cubic metres.  Their water is collected from the roof of its greenhouses. When full, the water is sufficient to irrigate the farm for six months. The farm which grows roses and calla lilies on 28.5 hectares of land, has also drilled 5 boreholes to supplement the rain water.

Some of the farms have invested in wetlands to tackle waste water from greenhouses and pack-houses. The water is recycled and then used to irrigate other crops and trees around the farms.

They also have tree planting programmes as a way of conserving environment and mitigating negative climate change effects. At P. J. Dave for instance, the farm takes care of over 80,000 trees in the farm. Similarly, Sirimon the farm has been planting a total of 250,000 trees annually for the past three years. This is in addition to thousands of other trees planted in the farm.

Tambuzi Ltd boasts of having planted more than 35,000 trees around the farm’s 64 hectares. At Ol Njorowa, the farm has planted thousands of indigenous trees in the farm while Sian-Agriflora Kenya Limited has planted more than 10,000 trees in its farm.

Welcome on Board………. Softech Inc

SofTech inc. is now an associate member of the Kenya Flower Council. This is an information technology firm that concentrates in software development; software design and testing, implementation; software upgrades and improvement as well as distribution of the software.  It’s an organization that also provides guidance and advice for their clients IT systems and requirements.

SofTech have come up with new software for the flower industry that’s internationally recognized for its standards. The software which is known as Flower manager or the Florisys is designed specifically for the Floriculture industry with a target market that’s comprises the Growers, Agents, Resellers (Traders) for direct, and Auction sales.

The main objective for this new technology is to save up to 90% of Input cost and time like man hours, overhead and time.  In addition to this it can also be a tool in making decisions on day to day business transaction by providing information on sale FOB Prices, Variety analysis, auction price analysis etc.

Features of the Flower Manager

v  It’s easy to use and allows the company users to access the database easily as well as cater for them by creating as many users as the company wants with secured passwords, supported by Relational Database.

v  One is able to manage the type of customers that the company has, as well as maintain the customer list as well as customize customer currency and pricing.

v  The software is good in finance as it can create currency lists with the deals of all the clients of the organization.

v  You can also monitor the exchange rates based on the current financials of the year as well as get reports if required for analysis purposes.

List of SofTech software’s with international standards and recognition

  1. Florysis/Flower Manager
  2. Tally E.R.P. with customization
  3. Document management system ( D.M.S)
  4. Payroll customized for East Africa
  5. Point of sale software
  6. Financial management
  7. Inventory and warehouse
  8. Farm management

Luanda International Trade Fair (FILDA)  – 17th -22nd July, 2012

The annual Luanda International Trade Fair (FIERA International De’Luanda-FILDA) will take place in Luanda, Angola from 17th – 22nd July, 2012. FILDA 2012 is a multi-sectoral exhibition with agriculture as one of the main sector being targeted.

The Kenya Embassy (based in Windhoek, Namibia) in conjunction with Horticultural Crops Development Authority (HCDA) and Tea Board of Kenya (TBK) carried out a market survey in Luanda from 12th – 19th June, 2012 and determined that there is a great market potential in Angola especially for tea and horticultural products, with FILDA being the best opportunity to market the same.

For more info contact Mrs. Susan Mukonda via suzzym66@hotmail.com; +244-92-3500394, +244915-880937. Also visit www.fil-angola.co.ao.

BGI Trade-Center 2013, IPM Essen

The world’s leading trade fair for the green industry, the IPM in Essen/Germany, will take place in January 2013.

With a market volume 8.6 billion Euros, Germany is the largest consumer in Europe and the third largest worldwide following the USA and Japan. In recent years the International Plant Fair in Essen, IPM, has become a leading European trade fair for worldwide trade in plants and flowers. The focus has become increasingly global.

The BGI Trade-Center reflects this development and is now a center of expertise in the wholesale trade in plants and flowers at the IPM in Essen.

Their strong, international network offers its members, partners and friends an active environment for diverse contacts and above all good business. They provide an exclusive opportunity to exhibit in a 1,000 m2 exhibition space where the participants meet with the most important partners of the German,  European and international market.

Growers interested in Exhibiting in the event are encouraged to do the booking by the Friday, 27th July 2012.

For more info contact Thomas Wittenburg via Thomas.Wittenburg@bgi-ev.de

Power cuts threaten viability of flower growers

The president of The Zimbabwe Flower Growers Association, Pardon Muusha, said last week that in some areas farmers were getting only two hours of power, despite ZESA’s promises to ensure 21 hours to the sector that depends on electricity to power irrigation pumps.

“Flowers have not been irrigated for a month in the main flower producing areas in Vumba as ZESA has let us down badly. Production has plummeted and we have been unable to meet our export orders,” he said.

“The viability of flower growers has been seriously threatened and the biggest challenge is remaining in this industry,” he added.

ZESA’s inability over the years to boost generation capacity at its ageing power stations and the money to import adequate electricity from neighbouring countries has left Zimbabwe grappling with severe power shortages.

Commercial consumers have to endure long periods without electricity, which analysts say is crippling efforts to revive the economy.

Source: The Zimbabwean

www.hortbiz.com

Unexpected gift of flowers makes people smile

According to the results of a national survey, both men and women are in agreement that an unexpected gift of flowers brings about smiles. The survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Teleflora, the world’s leading flower wire service, found that 71% of women ages 35-44 said that receiving a bouquet of flowers unexpectedly would make them smile and surprisingly, 49% of men in that same age group agreed. No matter the age, a bright bouquet of flowers can improve someone’s mood, considering that 60% of US adults ages 55+ would smile upon unexpectedly receiving a floral gift.

Since the inception of Teleflora’s Make Someone Smile Week in 2000, Teleflora florists across the country have made unexpected floral deliveries at hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and through Meals-on-Wheels programs. Make Someone Smile Week is the floral industry’s leading benevolent program running from Sunday, July 22 through Saturday, July 28. This year, florists will use donated flowers from wholesalers and growers and Teleflora’s donated Be Happy Mugs to create 30,000 arrangements. A network including thousands of Teleflora member florists and community volunteers will deliver the bouquets.

“Now in its 12th year, Make Someone Smile Week continues to be a popular program amongst our florists. Each year, I am amazed at all the local unit boards, florists and volunteers who take time away from their shop and other responsibilities to create and deliver the Be Happy Bouquets to members of their community,” said Rich Salvaggio, Vice President of Industry Relations and Floral Publications, Teleflora. “The survey with Harris Interactive reinforces what I say every year about this program; you cannot believe the effect that the delivery of flowers has on its recipients. It is a joy to see the recipients’ expressions upon receiving the fresh bouquet of flowers, which just reinforces why this program is such a success and why so many participate each year.”

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