A three-day regional trade fair kicked off in Nairobi on Wednesday with Kenya promising to enhance safe production of cut flowers in the country.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, who officially opened the 4th edition of the International Floriculture Trade Expo (IFTEX), said Kenya has continued to popularize its floriculture products by participating in international flower industry promotional events organized across the world.
“I wish to reassure all the consumers of our highly acclaimed flowers that the country continuously strives for responsible and safe production of cut flowers,” Kenyatta said.
The trade fair brought over 150 flower growers and buyers from some 20 countries in Africa, Europe and Latin America. It is a forum for floriculture industry players to showcase their products and best practices to strengthen business relationships.
The First Lady said flowers grown in the country are produced under globally acceptable standards and are therefore safe, adding that compliance mechanisms have been developed to guarantee quality produce for both export and domestic consumption.
Margaret pointed out that it was due to responsible and safe production of acclaimed cut flowers that the industry in the country has become an internationally recognized.
She said the country attaches a lot of importance to the industry, and strives to protect and conserve the natural environment while promoting the welfare of all farm staff for sustainability.
Kenya Flower Council (KFC) CEO Jane Ngige said the show has indeed placed Kenya in the global map as one of the top flower exporting country continuing to serve the industry in all seasons.
“The Kenya horticulture industry is one of the top foreign exchange earners for the country generating 1.03 billion U.S. dollars during the year 2014,” Ngige said, adding that floriculture sector, a key component of horticulture, exported 136, 601 metric tons valued at 560 million dollars in the same year.
This has been a remarkable growth in the industry last year despite the delay in signing the Economic Partnership Agreement between the East Africa Community and the European Union.
Ngige said the flower council endeavors to proactively pursue an improved business environment for exporters with relevant actors.
“In terms of compliance, KFC has maintained accreditation to mainstream sustainability in the floriculture sector by creating an international, sector supported vision on sustainability and to align global and local interests in the sector in a pre- competitive manner,” said Ngige. Enditem