3,000 buyers set to attend flower expo in Nairobi next month

Friday May 19 2017

Evans Mwangi and Ann Lepishoi sell flowers at

Evans Mwangi and Ann Lepishoi sell flowers at City Market in Nairobi. The two use WhatsApp to sell their produce.PHOTO|NATION MEDIA GROUP FILE 

By LEOPOLD OBI
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Some 3,000 flower buyers from the US and Asia are expected in the country next month during International floriculture Trade Expo (IFTEX).
Dick Van Ramsdonk, the President HPP exhibitions, the organisers of IFTEX, said they expect at least 2,000 buyers from the US alone with the rest coming from other regions.

He attributed the high number of US visitors to the direct flights Kenya is initiating with the country.

The direct flights are set to begin next month after the US government approved non-stop flights between the two countries. The country’s flowers are a sensation in the US, flower exporters said, but until the approval, it has been costly and lengthy to ship the products to the world’s biggest market after the EU. 

In the past, Kenyan exporters accessed the American markets through middlemen, which meant that US flower buyers purchased the flower at exorbitant prices.
“The beauty of Kenyan flowers was visible at the recent China Flower Trade Fair in Guangzhou and the World Floral Expo in Las Vegas (US) held early this year on different continents with similar high levels of attraction to the country’s flowers,” Ramsdonk said.

Ms Jane Ngige, CEO Kenya Flower Council (KFC), said Kenya is going into the US to supplement the market with medium-sized head roses, which are not supplied by South American growers.