Ehros flowers Ltd excelling in summer flower farming

Ehros flowers Ltd excelling in summer flower farming

Kenya’s small scale summer flower growers are expanding and introducing new quality flowers to satisfy the ever expanding European market. This is evident going by the tens of acres of lands dotting with beautiful summer flowers in Njabini, Nyandarua County.

Many people in this region have embraced summer flower farming as a cash cow.The region is known for milk, potatoes and cabbages production but the tide is slowly shifting and of late the region is witnessing an influx of people from other regions trying their hand in summer flowers.
Ehros flowers Ltd is one of the farm near Njabini town which is being chaperoned by Raphael Otieno. They are growing Eryngium anita, Eryngium planium, Craspedia and Kiwi which is a new variety under trials from Danziger breeder of ornamentals and cut flowers. The Company had tried cultivating these varieties in Kirinyaga, County at an altitude of 2000m above sea level but they didn’t blossom to the specifications required by the market hence they had to relocate to Njabini
It is believed that the high altitude of the area 2, 800m above sea level, serene environment coupled with cool air, glacial water trickling down from the Aberdare forest, fertile soils and its nearness to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport makes Nyandarua ideal for summer flower cultivation. Besides, availability of many flowers farmers in the region makes it easy and swift for one to acquire seedlings which are usually propagated. Summer flowers are usually used to blend other flowers for a perfect bouquet.

“We are cultivating flowers on 12 acres’ piece of land which we have leased. We have planted them in blocks of three acres each but at different intervals to enable us to supply throughout to the year. The reason why the smallholders in Njabini and other regions in Kenya are taking up the trade is because it needs little capital to start, summer flowers are resistant to pests and diseases and also tolerant to various soil conditions,” said Shango Saul the farm manager.

The Company endeavors to produce the highest possible quality summer flowers by following laid down procedures of cultivation. “Our niche variety is Eryngium. We are specializing in it because it has a never ending direct market. We have wholesalers who have a big interest with this variety,” said Raphael Otieno who also doubles up as a consultant on summer flowers.

When Eryngium is one month old, the crop is pinched.This process ensures that the crop is able to produce more stems. “Pinching enables the plant to absorb more nutrients from the soil which leads to, healthy stems, bigger head sizes, bigger leaves which provides for a bigger leaf surface for absorption of more sunlight rays bearing in mind this is a very cold area,” said the farm manager.

The first flush of Eryngium is harvested in the fourth month after planting. It is followed by feeding with compost manure, weeding, remolding the beds, de-suckering and de-thinning. This is done carefully to ensure a uniform sprouting. Eryngium are susceptible to pests such as white flies, thrips and diseases such as leaf rust. They adopt spraying against these pests and diseases.

“We are proud of our achievements so far amid the covid 19 pandemic and enthusiastic about our future. We look forward to continuing our success alongside each of our partners which includes our esteemed customers, breeders and other stakeholders whom we collaborate with. Forging forward, we remain dedicated, always putting our customers first and keep creating value as we focus on quality, reliability and responsibility,” says Otieno.

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