The 14th edition of Naivasha Horticultural Fair was held on 23rd - 24th September at the Naivasha Sports Club. The show has grown to become the continent’s biggest and fastest growing showcasing for horticulture. This year's edition comes at a time when Kenya’s horticulture & floriculture industry is adjusting to various past, existing and imminent challenges that are sure to shape its performance in this last quarter of 2016.
The NH Fair enjoys a string of uniquenesses that make it different from most other expos. Business and networking among players in the industry remains the focal point with the 2016 show attracting quite a number of exhibitors. Nearly 200 exhibitors drawn from various segments of the industry; including Breeders, Suppliers to the industry and Growers. The setting is open air and has a very relaxed flair about it; complimented by live music, drinks and dining areas. A kiddie’s play area is set aside to give the show a ‘family day out’ ambiance.
One very unique aspect is that all profits accrued from the annual event goes towards supporting charity causes. These charities also form part of the fair each year and offer visitors an opportunity to see how the monies are being utilized. NHFAIR Trust in-line with their motto ‘building better lives’ supports charities geared towards poverty alleviation and improving the lives of women and children especially. The charities include: Naivasha Safe House (for abused women and children), the Naivasha Children’s Shelter, NACOHAG (HIV/AIDS and family health), Karagita Maternity Hospital, Naivasha General Hospital Maternity Wing (reduction of maternal and infant mortality), United Disabled Persons of Naivasha, KSPCA, and The Rotary Club.
With a foot-fall of more than 3,500 visitors, the show attracted a notable number of suppliers to the industry especially manufacturers and distributors of agro-chemical products as well as farm inputs, machinery and other accessories. The 2016 NH Fair was a reflection of the positive aspects the industry is currently embracing such as efficiency improvement, innovation and sustainability.
Although concern among players was evident with rising costs on factors such as labour, taxes, energy, airfreight and input which still remain an impediment to growth. Kenyan floriculture and horticulture sector will also face a huge blow if the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and the Eastern African Community is not signed and ratified by October 1st 2016. The sector stands to lose up to 3.8 Million Euros every month if the deal is not finalized before the set deadline.