A Family Business  Aberdare Flowers, skyrocket after Googling

A Family Business Aberdare Flowers, skyrocket after Googling

In 2014, George Kamunge did what any young person out of high school would do when faced with a problem; he asked Google to give him a solution. His problem was that having taken over his parents’ flower farm, he had produced more flowers than the local buyers could absorb. He had produced over 2000 stems of different summer flowers. So he got online and started searching for a buyer. He would get people abroad and was very excited not knowing that he needed an export license to be able to sell his flowers outside the country.
He continued the search and found a local buyer who was selling abroad. He contacted the buyer who told him to take a box of flowers to the airport. It being his first time to the airport, he went to the passenger terminal instead of the cargo terminal. He had to walk over 2kms with a box of flowers on his shoulders to the cargo terminal.
The local buyers would buy the flowers at Kshs. 5 per stem but the airport buyer was paying Kshs. 14 per stem. The buyer didn’t even open the box and just paid him and he left. Two weeks later, he got another order from the same buyer. That is how it started, the reign of the son over the family’s flower farm. The farm is named Aberdare Flowers.
The buyer now gets a regular delivery of two boxes of mixed flowers every week. He has since found market in Holland and exports there. He practices open field farming and plants in portions at different times so that he has flowers throughout.
His dad had started in 2001 by producing carnations, spray carnations, diuthus, astromeria, scabiosas and eryngium. He would then sell them to local buyers and at the city market in Nairobi. George has now increased the acreage under flowers to 5 acres.
He has increased the varieties of summer flowers he plants by adding craspedia, moriucela, Daucus carota, statice and ornithogram. He produces 6000 stems of craspedia on 2.5 acres, 7,000 stems of eryngium on a quarter acre and 10,000 stems of moriucela on ¾ acre. For scabiosas, he produces 5000 stems from 1/8 acre, 2000 stems of statice on 1/8 acre. He is expecting 4000 stems of ornithogram from ½ an acre he wants to harvest in a month’s time.
His biggest challenge now is meeting the demand. He has leased additional land but he has noticed that people leasing him land when they realize he is making good money from their land planting flowers, they change their mind and ask him to vacate. This he attributes to jealousy. Some have told him that they are selling the land and he has to vacate only to find out that it wasn’t the case.
He is also struggling getting capital to purchase land outright as that would ensure that he can plan for the future without the fear of evictions. He also wants to buy shade nets to cover the flowers in the field. Shade netting helps the plants attain optimum length. He foresees an increase in the demand for summer flowers as they are more eco-friendly to grow and cheaper compared to roses.

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