Kenya's ornamentals industry has been going through a bad patch this year, outlines Kenya Flower Council Chair Clement Tulezi. Stagnant prices, high taxes and a weak Kenyan shilling are hindering growers in the East African country. As a result, there has been no acreage expansion in Kenya this year. “Growers are waiting for better times,” Tulezi said.
Like in previous years, Kenya is well represented at the IFTF international ornamentals show. The Kenya Flower Council (KFC), which represents exporting growers and promotes their flowers, is among the attendees. The picture painted by Clement Tulezi on a Friday morning shows that floriculture in Kenya is struggling: the price of roses – Kenya’s key product – is stagnating while costs are rising.
Tax increases imposed by the Kenyan government are the first cost increase mentioned by Tulezi. “The government really taxes everything. We haven't had such high taxes here before,” he explained. In his opinion, the depreciation of the Kenyan shilling in 2023 has also been detrimental. “The sector is struggling but will keep going,” he said. Tulezi knows that giving up is not an option for farms, anyway. “The sector provides many Kenyans with a livelihood. We have 200,000 workers working on these farms,” he said.