In ensuring the world does not lack standard roses, Yogeesh Basavarajappa took the bold step and headed to Solai; Olbanita, Nakuru County to establish Florenza flowers in 2014.
To Yogeesh, he had amassed good knowledge on rose cultivation having worked in India, Uganda and Aquilla Flowers in Naivasha.
Florenza Flowers is a sister farm to Roseto in Rongai and Sierra Flora Limited in Elburgon as they constitutes the Mega Spin Group of Companies.
“Our sister farms; that’s in Rongai and Elburgon are cultivating roses of premium varieties and sprays at high altitudes, so there was need to come up with a new farm growing different varieties and in different altitude, that’s low altitude of 1750 meters,’’ said Mr.Yogeesh.
Currently the farm grows 13 varieties of standard roses on 16 hectares piece of land. The roses are; Sombrero, Athena, Sloero, Red Calypso, Wild Calypso, Almanza, Tropical Amazone, Orange Party, Clarion, Mandy, Boogy, Fucshiana and H3O all grown on the soil. ‘’We are growing the flowers on soil because the soil in this area is viable. Growing hydroponically is expensive and thus unless the soil is not good we cannot opt for it,’’ he elaborated
The company’s prides itself of producing different varieties of various colors which is a good mixture for direct sale market as customer’s tastes and preference are met and exceeded.
‘’We are exporting 33 million stems of cut flowers yearly, currently, this number will increase to 48 million next year as we are expanding to twenty four hectares. We are MPS A and MPS Social certified as this is what our customer’s require,’’ he happily reveals
Water is the lifeline to every farm. This farm started with construction of dams for water storage. The dams have capacity to hold 100,000 cubic meters of water which is harvested from their greenhouses when it rains.
Being a dry area, they have drilled boreholes to supplement the dam water though the water has sodium and is warm, 42 degrees centigrade.
“Rain water is very good for our cultivation as it doesn’t contain sodium, we are using the water we harvested for now. The water from the boreholes need to be cooled as the temperature is too high to feed the Reverse osmosis (R.O) machine in those big tanks you see there before it’s actually piped to the farm,’’ he expounded showing us the tanks.
Meanwhile, the flower company does not leave the community empty handed. The farm currently employs over 320 people, 80% being women and are majorly from the vicinity. The workers earn a good living as the company is keen on achieving employee’s harmony
The company is supplying piped water to the locals for their domestic use as well as for their livestock. They have also revamped the 2.5 kilometers of the road that leads to the Company as well as serving the locals, nearby .
They provides lunch to the workers at the company’s expense. A dispensary is also available with a doctor for treating the locals and employees.
Proper bonus for the workers has been adopted by the management of the company. Yogeesh reveals that they pay gratuities to the employees.
The biggest challenge the company has experienced is the weather conditions as well as levels of sodium’s in the water.
Either way, the Company is among the youngest in the floriculture industry and is growing significantly under the effective management of Yogeesh Basavarajappa.