Challenges Facing Health Quality Production of Cut Flowers

fresh cut flowers production

The present day flower industry is a dynamic and highly international industry. Significant growth rates have been achieved during the past few decades. Trade is dominated by south-north flows with Europe and North-America housing the world’s largest consumer markets, while the producing countries are situated close to the equator. For the past ten years, the five leading global flower exporters in terms of export value of this moment are the Netherlands, Colombia, Kenya, Ecuador and Ethiopia has joined this list, while Israel’s position has weakened.

fresh cut flowers production

The present day flower industry is a dynamic and highly international industry. Significant growth rates have been achieved during the past few decades. Trade is dominated by south-north flows with Europe and North-America housing the world’s largest consumer markets, while the producing countries are situated close to the equator. For the past ten years, the five leading global flower exporters in terms of export value of this moment are the Netherlands, Colombia, Kenya, Ecuador and Ethiopia has joined this list, while Israel’s position has weakened.

These countries are competing with each other on the same markets in Europe, Russia, and North-America and competition is getting tenser every year. This increased rivalry is partly due to stagnating demand, but also as a result of the growing number of large-flowered roses grown in Africa and the generally improving quality of the African products. Since a few years, one of the main challenges facing production of good quality cut flowers is the lack of clean planting material especially among resource poor farmers who resort to multiplying their own propagules with detrimental results. Carnation is an important export crop among farmers in Kenya. Carnation production, however, is constrained by lack of clean planting materials.

Challenges Faced by Small Scale Flower Farms
While most of the products for the export market originate from large producers in Thika, Timau and Naivasha, small scale flower farms in Kenya play a bigger role in the overall sector output.
The global cut flower industry provides a vital income for many people in countries like Kenya and Colombia. In Kenya, agricultural sector is the second income earner after tourism. Flowers are the major exports in the sector among other such as tea and vegetables. This shows how vital flower farming is to the Kenyan economy.
Some challenges are common and others are unique to the farms depending on their location or the type of flower that they are specialized in producing.
1) Poor Working Conditions for Workers
Workers in flower farms have low morale. Their exposure to poor working conditions has reduced their productivity. Some workers have become sick as a result of poor human safety related to handling chemicals. They are also never given proper training on safe use of pesticides and fertilizers.
2) Lack of Pesticide Storage Facilities
Pesticides and fertilizers are some products that a flower farm cannot do without. Small scale producer which cannot afford these facilities face a serious challenge on combating pest and diseases which in turn affects their productivity.
3) Unpredictable Climatic Change
Due to global warming, unpredictable weather changes have been a global issue that has affected most agricultural countries. Areas which were cool are becoming hotter. This has affected the agricultural sector especially flowers farms.
4) Increased Cost Production
Higher power cost, cost of fuel and farm inputs poses cost of production to be higher. This cannot be afforded by most flower farms that are doing their best to produce up to standard flowers for the internal and external market.
5) Lack of Market
Small scale flower farms in Kenya are always faced with the challenge of market insufficiency. Having to compete with already developed farms which are also seeking new markets to diversify from the traditional European markets.

Competitiveness is largely determined by the productivity with which a nation uses its resources. It is not a static concept but dynamic especially in the context of pervasive globalisation. Competition is no longer restricted to costs and price but increasingly plays out on multiple fronts: connectivity, standards and certifications, quality and innovation, exploitation of cultural and geographic endowments, etc. Because these new fronts are constantly changing and reshaping, a competitiveness strategy should be dynamic and should simultaneously engage diverse institutions and agents that are linked at various levels on various dimensions. With market constraints becoming increasingly complicated while worldwide supply grows and consumption stagnates, profit margins for flower producers are shrinking by the year. This is a real Global Competitiveness of the Kenya Flower Industry. Kenya must maintain its competitive edge in the global flower sector over competitors both nearby and far away. The only way is to continuously increase competitiveness.