Aquila where Roses, Herbs, Sunflowers & Wildlife are exemplary

It’s mid-morning as we drive along the illustrious Nairobi-Nakuru highway a journey whose destination is to the core axis of flower growing area in Kenya, Naivasha. As we join the Southlake Road via Morendat, heading to Aquila flowers, we encounter tourists’ trucks with sightseers capturing photos on different angles of various flora and fauna. Such imageries make one fathom the beauty that Kenya is bestowed with.
As we enter Aquila flowers just few kilometers off the tarmac road, different kinds of game range animals grazing on the enormous land that encompasses the company welcomes us. Sights of vast greenhouses approach as we make a right turn to the massive structures which houses offices, pack house and cold rooms.
The farm started its operations in 2003. It sits on 2,000 acres most of which is flat and arable; comprising of 30ha of land on greenhouses and a propagation unit. We are welcomed by Seth Riungu, the farm Sales and Marketing Manager.
“We grow 12 varieties of roses; Red Calypso (Red), Marie Claire (Orange),Akito (White) ,Sweet Unique (Pink), Gold Strike (Yellow), Moon Walk (Yellow), Orange Fizz (Orange), Wild Thing (Cerise), Catch (Bi-colour), Belle Rose (Pink), H30 (Pink) and Furiosa (Red). We major in direct sales to United Kingdom, Holland as well South Africa,” Mr. Riungu explained.
Aquila also cultivate Sunflowers, Gypsophilia and Rosemary herbs in one ha piece of land each, which they are eager to expand in the coming years.
Riungu avers that they began cultivating these crops one year ago due customer demands and preferences. “Some of our clients request for bouquets that are of various assortments of flowers and to appease to their taste, we incorporate Gypsophilia as a form of decoration. We include Rosemary in the bouquets to enhance the scent,” Riungu opined. They propagated their own Gypsophilia and Rosemary. They did not outsource from the well renowned propagators as is the norm of many growers.
Their sunflowers are planted outdoor. They take a period of seventy days to maturity and are grown organically with minimal use of chemicals. “We have witnessed an increased demand of sunflowers in United Kingdom and we are planting them in phases so as we are able to supply throughout the year,” he explained.
The Company is committed to continuously maintaining and improving the environment with certain areas of the farm having been allocated to forestry conservation. They conduct tree planting initiatives; replenishing the land and helping keep the Country green and beautiful. This has provided a game sanctuary for an array of wild animals and currently it play home to two hundred zebra’s and close to fifty giraffes among others. They have a permit from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) for the sanctuary.
“The wildlife’s in the farm are provided with a water point and grazing areas. We keep an eye on them and if any is injured or sick we call KWS who give the animal necessary treatment. In this farm there have been no reported case of human, wildlife conflict and we both live in harmony alongside each other. In this regard, we have continuously noticed a healthy increase in the total number of wildlife within our farm,” Riungu pointed out.
Since its inception, the company runs a fully-fledged clinic with a clinical officer and a nurse fully in charge. The clinic offers free medical care to all employees and also conducts deliveries to expectant mothers. In case of complications, they refer patients to Finlays Hospital which is nearby or Naivasha General Hospital. A day care facility has been established where workers leave their children to be taken care of as they report to their designated areas of work.
As it is the norm of flower farms on corporate social responsibilities, Aquila flowers in cooperation with Amrit foundation is providing periodic medical camps and free clean water at no cost to the locals. They have also gone ahead to build classrooms for both primary and secondary school as well as donating laboratory equipment and books to the local school.
“We are focused on outdoor crops expansion at the moment increasing Rose Mary, Gypsophila and Sunflower area under production. As for roses, the expansion process will be decided by the end of the year,” Seth concluded.

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