Farmers discovers the hidden treasure in growing summer flowers

Farmers discovers the hidden treasure in growing summer flowers

By Steven Mulanda

Summer flower farming is gaining more popularity with more small scale farmers venturing into their cultivation. The farmers are making a good fortune from selling these flowers to the export market.

While traversing central Kenya, one is able to notice many farms dotting with these flowers, an indication that more have discovered this hidden treasure.
The scale of the global market for flowers is large and increasing more on a daily basis. In the United Kingdom for instance, the market for cut flowers and ornamental plants was worth £1.3 billion in 2019, according to government statistics. British Florist Association reports that, 80% of the cut flowers are shipped via Netherlands, of which a significant proportion originates from Kenya.

Gabriel Tibi Kagucia a small scale farmer from South Kinangop has grown summer flowers since he left school. His inspiration to summer flower farming was drawn from his father who was a well known summer flower farmer and a supplier in the region for many years. He grows his crops under the umbrella of Scog Flowers, a company he registered. He practice contract and independent farming. For contract, he sells to buyers who requires him to sign an agreement to grow crops for the buyer at a pre-determined price. For independent farming, he sells to anyone who approaches him for the flowers.

“Scog Flowers, is a company based on the slopes of Aberdare Ranges in the central region of Kenya near Njabini town. The unique geographic location and ideal weather conditions combined with abundantly fertile soil produce flowers of superb quality. “We grow and sell fresh cut flowers of different varieties. Some of our varieties include Craspedia, Agapanthus, Carnations, Hypericum, Alstroemeria, Lilies, Chrysanthemum, Statice, Arabicum, Molucella, Eryngium, Scabiosa, Bupleurum, Dianthus Green, Kiwi Mellow, Amaranthus, Ammi Visnaga among others. Our markets are diverse here in the country and abroad,” he said.

Before venturing into summer flower farming, Kagucia had tried other businesses but was left out burning his fingers. He has been able to introduce his younger brother into the same business after discovering that flower farming is rewarding especially for export market. “Summer flower business is good; I am able to cater for my daily bread, it has also enabled me build interpersonal relationships with many people who I have met a long the chain of doing this business and the ideas they have shared with me have been of great game changer in my life,” he said.

Kagucia opines that the popularity of summer flowers is high all over the world. “Years ago people associated Kenya with roses only. Currently, many people are recognizing and appreciating the beauty and quality of summer flowers we are producing. Summer flowers are being used to blend other flowers especially roses to make perfect bouquets. During this time of the year, the flowers are on demand to blend roses on valentine occasion. They are also in demand during other occasions such as mother’s day, Father’s Day, Christimas Day, to name just but a few,” he said.

Sylvie Mamias of Union Fleurs notes that one of the reasons behind the increase in flower exports from Africa dates from the 1970s, when an oil crisis increased the cost of heating greenhouses in northern countries. As a result, production moved south where flowers could be grown with little energy input all year round. For Europe, this meant seeing more flowers imported from Israel and Morocco, and later east Africa, while US buyers developed trade with Latin America. These new producers have three things in common: areas of high altitude with cool nights, proximity to the equator for maximum hours of sunlight and cheaper labour which made Africa a tick for cultivation of flowers.

“Summer flower farming is one agribusiness that most young and able people in this country should think of venturing into. For a beginner, capital may pose a challenge, but approaching financial institutions for assistance can be of great help. For the Kenya youths, everything is possible, start with the little you have because out of the little, something big will definitely be born,” he advises

Share This


Wordpress (0)
Disqus ( )
× Whatsapp us