Money Moves February 15, 2019 at 11:13 am

Kenya is the world’s 4th-largest flower exporter and makes over $500m a year

Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson | Staff Writer

Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson February 15, 2019 at 11:13 am

February 15, 2019 at 11:13 am | Money Moves

Photo- Kenya Flower Council

Kenya is the world’s 4th-largest flower exporter and makes over $500m a year. Thousands of industries outside of the African continent rely on natural resources from Africa. From cashew, cocoa, gold, diamonds to timber, almost all African countries depend on their exports as a number one source of revenue.

While some of the exported products might come as no surprise as they are only found in Africa, other products are interesting mainly because they are not originally of African origin and were probably introduced by Westerners who settled in various parts of the continent between the 1600s and 1800s. Number one on this list is flowers which are one of the major exports from Kenya.

Source Kenya Flower Council

According to a July 2018 report by the Worlds Top Exports, cut flowers and plants represent 10.4% of the country’s exports making it the second most exported product from Kenya. In 2017 alone, the country made
$595.6 million from flowers exported to Europe, the United States and some parts of Africa.

Photo- The Telegraph/ Clara Molden

Kenya ranks as the world’s fourth-largest exporter of cut flowers behind the Netherlands, Colombia and Ecuador, and makes up 7% of global market share. Despite dropping to 4th place from its original 3rd place since 2015, the country is expected to see a climb when 2018 reports come out later.

Kenya’s top buyer is the Netherlands which then sells close to 35% of the flowers bought from Kenya to the EU. Other direct buyers include Germany,
Russia and the U.S. and some 56 other countries worldwide

Thanks to the great weather that Kenya boasts of almost all year round, flowers from the East African country, specifically roses, carnations and summer flowers are known to last longer than flowers from other parts of the world.

The industry provides a source of income to some 500,000 Kenyans and according to the Kenya Flower Council, it’s looking to expand its global reach setting its eyes on Asia where several Kenyan products have been very well accepted. This could expand the country’s global percentage to 10%.

 Photo: Clara Molden

The next time you are looking to get some beautiful long lasting flowers, you might as well look at ordering from Kenya especially if you love African products or live in the continent.

The country also hosts several flower and garden showcasing events that attract florists and flower enthusiast from all over the world. The Kenyan floral industry officially kicked off in 1996 when the Kenya Flower Council was formed to bring independent florists together and start exporting.


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