NAIVASHA, Kenya, (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s flower farmers on Tuesday decried
unreliable power supply in Naivasha area noting that
this was adversely affecting production.
Speaking ahead of
Valentine’s Day which will be celebrated on Wednesday,
the farmers pointed out the rising cost of production
and labor as the major challenges currently facing the
Van-Den-Berg Roses Farm Human Resource Manager, George
Onyango, they were exporting 500,000 stems of roses
everyday to Germany and Holland.
However, Onyango said
the price of stem had for years remained constant
against the rise in farm inputs and flight charges.
“Currently, the biggest
challenge that flower farmers are facing is the high
cost of production and labor which are rising by the
month,” he said.
Onyango hit out at
Kenya Power, the country’s state-run electricity
distributor, over the increased cases of power outages
in the region noting that this had negative effects to
“Power supply to
Naivasha which incidentally in the source of geothermal
power has been very unreliable forcing the farmers to
use generators and these are very expensive to
maintain,” Onyango said.
The HR manager also
noted that failure by Kenya to sign Economic Partnership
Agreement (EPA) was causing anxiety among the farmers.
“The ongoing saga
around the economic agreement is worrying as failure to
sign it would mean an increase in taxes for our produce
to the EU market,” he said.
Onyango also expressed
his concern over double taxation by the national and
county governments adding that there was need to
Kenya ranks the third in terms of export of cut-flower
export in the EU market