Flower prices have more than doubled during this year’s Valentine’s season due to a shortage of the commodity brought about by heavy rains that destroyed the flowers late last year.
Flower firms in the country are grappling with a severe shortage and have registered a 60% drop in production this season. Pests and diseases which emerged following the heavy rains have only added to the woes of flower dealers.
“The industry is grappling with a 60 percent decline in production following heavy rains that impacted negatively on flowers last year,” said Mary Kinyua, the general manager at Oserian Flower farm, Business Daily reported.
While, a bouquet of flowers was selling at Sh700 ($7) last year is now retailing at Sh1,500 ($15) with buyers still complaining of difficulties in getting the stems from farms.
At City Market in Nairobi, flower vendors have since increased the cost of a stem from Sh20 to Sh50 ($0.5).
Kenya is arguably the world’s flower garden and annually exports tonnes of freshly cut flowers to all corners of the world, more so to Europe.
The cut-flower export contributes over 70% of the total fresh produce in annual earnings and remains the largest earner of horticulture.