TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Kenyan VP Urges Flower Producers to Exploit AGOA

Sunday, 27 April 2003

Source: East African Standard (Nairobi)

Vice-President Michael Wamalwa has challenged flower producers to exploit the opportunity presented by the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).

The VP revealed that plans were underway to introduce direct flights to Miami, USA as part of the Government's effort to utilise the opportunities in the North American market.

Wamalwa was speaking at Oserian Development Company in Naivasha, during the launch of a geothermal green house heating project.

The function also marked 21 years since Oserian begun growing flowers in Naivasha.

The new technology, the first one of its kind in the country allows for optimum climate specific to each variety of flowers and uses heat generated from the nearby wells drilled by Kengen at the Olkaria area.

Wamalwa cited high marketing standards, poor infrastructure and poor working conditions for workers as some of greatest challenges facing the floriculture sector.

He reiterated the Government's commitment to support small scale farmers by providing affordable credit and coming up with the regulatory framework to level the playing field.

The VP disclosed that Kenyan flowers currently account for 25 per cent of the total flower export to the European Union.

He said over 41,396 metric tons of cut flowers were exported last year and revealed flower production in the country had grown 15-20 per cent over the last two decades.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Kipruto arap, Kirwa called on the Kenya Flower Council to ensure that members adhere to the international labour standards and were involved in environmental conservation.

He said the Government is establishing more storage facilities and encouraging farmers on the importance of irrigation to encourage more farmers venture into farming.

The minister said the Government in conjunction with donors was carrying out pilot schemes on irrigation in nine districts in the North Eastern Kenya.

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