Vorige

‘Shift from roses to spray roses only seems a matter of time’

Beeld
Thomas Fransen

It has been more than a year since I wrote about our dream to start a spray-rose project in a region where there is no floriculture yet. The goal of the project was to support a nearby orphanage, called Pepo la tumaini jangwani. This means ‘wind of hope in the desert’ in Swahili.

The higher, the better! For years, this used to be the motto in international floriculture. The higher above sea level, the heavier the product. In the race for the highest-quality cultivars, there was a move towards the more elevated regions. In Kenya, we have now reached a tipping point, however. Since the introduction of various summer flowers and the shift from roses to spray roses, up is not the only way anymore.

Spray roses have been gaining popularity for years, and the shift from roses to spray roses only seems a matter of time, only to be accelerated when supermarkets discover this product. Spray roses seem to be less sensitive to altitude and better able to handle the higher temperatures in the lower regions.

I expect Kenya will be accelerating its expansion of floricultural acreage in the coming years. After all, while there is only so much cultivation acreage available at high altitudes, opportunities abound if the soil 1,000 metres down will do just fine.

Back to our ultimate goal: the orphanage urgently needed support. When several large American patrons stopped making donations, the orphanage found itself on the verge of sending children back into the streets. Nevertheless, the orphanage has been doing an incredibly good job for over 25 years. It is providing many children with a future and purpose in life.

Resilient

The orphanage was initially founded to accommodate children whose parents had died of AIDS. It now includes all children in need of help in its programme.

The programme this orphanage has developed alongside the standard education programme is very impressive. It makes children resilient against the often-tough environment they are ultimately going to return to. Ensuring that they can work and live in this environment and support any family they may still have.

It is incredibly beautiful to find that all our partners in the flower project are also happy to contribute to the orphanage. We are enormously grateful for our buyers, who have been purchasing Jangwani spray roses from day one. The amount of help for the orphanage we get today is more than we ever expected.

Our dream has come true, the wind of hope is blowing harder now, allowing hundreds of orphans to dream again!

Thomas Fransen,

General manager Timaflor, Kenya

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