It’s indeed an honour to welcome all the exhibitors and visitors from Kenya and across the globe to yet another edition of the International Flower trade Expo (IFTEX). 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 Kshs 100.8 billion during the year 2014. The floriculture sector a key component of horticulture exported 136,601 metric tons valued at Kshs 54.6 billion in the same year.
There was a remarkable growth despite the challenges faced by the industry especially with the delay in the finalization of the EAC EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) where exporters paid duties from October 1 to December 24th, 2014. This was indeed a thorn in the fresh. Others are taxes and levy handles that came with the new devolved system of government. Good enough, the industry is still blooming regardless. The Kenya Flower Council (KFC) endevours to proactively pursue an improved business environment for exporters with relevant actors. KFC collaborates with private sector apex business management organizations, the Government and other stakeholders. KFC and FPEAK have revived the Kenya Horticultural Council (KHC) to create a single lobby body that understands export horticulture and can knowledgeably interact with Government.
"The Kenya Horticulture industry is one of the top foreign exchange earners for the country generating Kshs 100.8 billion during the year 2014. "
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.
The Kenya Standard KS 1758- Horticulture has evolved as the key tool to attain traceability. Reviewed through the National Mechanism of Compliance Project, the final draft is now in the public domain undergoing a public review. It is anticipated to add impetus towards creating a national brand of responsibly grown flowers through a credible, cost effective and efficient self-regulation approach. As the saying goes, when you’re doing exactly what you want to do, it’s not tiring. You’ve been planting and finally, you have a full garden in bloom; you’re like, ‘Oh, I just want to smell the flowers and play among the flowers all day.’ That’s what we are doing. We are playing among the flowers. As long as we are persistence in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time. Going forward we remain vigilant, identifying interventions and opportunities that will boost competitiveness in the face a saturated and discerning market.
Finally, allow me to wish you a prolific exhibition.
Jane Ngige (Mrs.)
Chief Executive Officer
Kenya Flower Council