Norwegian companies could provide the flower sector with clean energy and mini hydro solutions.
Kenya’s horticulture sector is one of the top 3 export revenue earners of Kenya. The country is the 4th largest exporter of cut flowers, after Netherlands, Colombia and Ecuador.
The top 5 destinations of Kenya’s flowers are Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, Russia and Norway. Overall, this translates to over 38% market share in Europe.
The flower farms
The common flowers grown in Kenya are roses, summer flowers, spray roses, chrysanthemums, carnations, lilies, orchids and many more; out of the many farmers who grow flowers, 117 of them are members of the Kenya Flower Council. (http://kenyaflowercouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/KFC-Grower-member-contacts-December-2017.pdf ).
The most common flower growing areas are: Naivasha, Nakuru, Thika, Kikuyu, Eldoret and many other locations that are at about 6 hours away from the Nairobi International Airport.
The flower farms engage in either development of new flower varieties (breeding), propagation or growing flowers. The sector enjoys suitable tropical climate, access to international auctions and direct markets and a productive work force with a good grasp of the market access requirements.
Opportunities for Norwegian companies
Despite the success that has been experienced in the sector; there are areas that present opportunities for Norwegian companies. Some of them are:
1. Alternative source of energy: Most of the flower farms are connected to the national grid which goes on and off from time to time; causing disruptions in their operations. Therefore, use of diesel-fueled generators is the default alternative during black outs and this is quite costly. The need for alternative source of energy and specifically clean energy is a real opportunity.
2. Solar energy Solutions: Some farms straddle the equator; they are exposed to the sun throughout the year, hence solar energy solutions are relevant.
3. Mini Hydro Solutions: Other farms are located close to perennial rivers; hence mini hydro solutions are relevant.
4. Consultancy: Competitiveness is no longer pegged on cost and price; hence farmers are seeking for new knowledge, technologies and expertise. There is great opportunity for consultancy firms to transfer skills in efficient farm operations and putting systems in place to enable farmers to operate in an economically, socially and environmentally responsible way; and enhance adherence to set standards and procedures in the global markets.
For more opportunities within the Kenyan horticulture sector; contact Innovation Norway East Africa on