Small Scale Flower Farms
While most of the fresh cut flowers consumed in the worldwide market originate from large farms, growers and plantations, small scale flower farms 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, Ecuador, Colombia and Ethiopia which are the 4 major producers of fresh cut flowers.
Challenges Faced by Small Scale Flower Farms
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.
What Should Small Scale Flower Farms Do
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 Flower Industry.