Kenya eyes Chinese flower market to diversify exports

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Kenya is planning to expand its flower exports to China as part of its diversification strategy, an industry official said on Wednesday.

Kenya Flower Council (KFC) chairman Richard Fox told a media briefing in Nairobi that currently less than 1 percent of all flower exports goes China directly.

“We are encouraging flower producers to establish links with Chinese importers in order to tap into the lucrative market,” Fox said at the opening ceremony of the International Flower Trade Expo 2017.

Currently, Kenyan flowers reach the Asian nation market after passing through the Dutch flower auction. “This makes Kenyan flowers very expensive in the Chinese market,” Fox said.

In 2016, Kenya exported approximately 133,000 metric tons of flowers, 80 percent of which was sold in the EU. Fox said that by selling flowers to China, Kenya will diversify its export destinations.

“It is not advisable to be heavily dependent on a single market as it makes flower producers very vulnerable,” he added.

He said that China is an emerging flower market as 80 percent of all flowers produced globally are sold to the U.S, EU and Japan.

According to KFC, Kenyan flowers can be competitive in the Chinese market due to presence of direct air links between the two countries.

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