One on one with Rajat the General Manager Desire Flora

One on one with Rajat the General Manager Desire Flora

Rajat Chaohan the General Manager of Desire Flora, is proud of the flower farm. His immense experience is what led to realization of the dream and desire of the promoter, the late Mr Devendra Halai of owning a flower farm.

He has ably driven the farm located in Isinya, off Pipeline road, to the high levels it is today.

How many years of experience do you have in this field of floriculture?

I began my career in floriculture from India where I did my Post Graduate in Agriculture in 1995. From there I moved to Tanzania in 2003 for a period of two years then I came to Kenya in 2005. I worked with East Africa Growers Ltd and then I proceeded to Desire flora in 2008. In total I have 21 years of experience.

How has been your journey as far as Desire Flora is concerned?

This farm started in 2008. It was a huge bare land with small bushes and grass here and there. I began from scratch by clearing the bushes, cultivating the land, constructing greenhouses and planting roses. Total land space that the farm is on is 123 acres but we have managed 17 hectares for now from the initial 10 hectares when we started in 2008. We have drilled boreholes to supply the farm with water. The first export was fourteen million stems in 2009. Currently, we are producing twenty million stems per year.

How many varieties are you growing and which is your favorite?

We are currently growing twelve varieties of T-Hybrid and improved Intermediate roses. We are able to achieve a head size of 4 to 5 centimeters. Bella Rose is my favorite because of its striking colour and head size we have achieve but Downtown is our best payer due to its high price in the market.

What are some of the technologies you have managed to adopt in your farm?

We have a modern irrigation system from Gavish Control Systems, Israel combined with reverse osmosis unit from Nirosoft, Israel. Due to the high sodium levels in borehole water, it is first piped through the Reverse Osmosis unit and collected into the main dam for further irrigation in field. The same purified water with post harvest treatment additives is also used for post-harvest handling of flowers through a centralized post-harvest water supply system in the field.

Half a hectare is solely dedicated to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) where we produce our own Phytosellius Persimilis for control of red spider mites in the field. We also apply other efficient Integrated Pest Management practices in our production process.We have a modern pack house with cold room of 1250 meters cube, a centralized spraying system and a state of art propagation house for in-house use.

Tell us the challenges you have encountered as a manager?

Read the full article in Hortfresh Journal July-August edition or call 0723308725 to get a copy

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