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150,000 jobs in Kenya are hanging in the balance and risk drying up after lucrative flower industry gets hit by severe shortage of fertiliser

Mr Tulezi has called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and have the issues resolved immediately.

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  • Kenya Flower Council chief executive officer Clement Tulezi said the problem has worsened in the last five months, with efforts to have the issue resolved bearing minimal fruits.
  • The flower industry is one of the Kenya’s foreign currencies earners with the country currently ranked as the world's third largest exporter of flowers and foliage.
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Kenya Flower Council chief executive officer Clement Tulezi said the problem has worsened in the last five months, with efforts to have the issue resolved bearing minimal fruits.

“If we shall not be able to surmount these challenges as quickly as possible, then Sh82 billion that industry raked in last year will be up in the smoke,” he cautioned.

According to the Kenya Flower Council (KFC), the floriculture sector currently employs more than 150,000 employees directly and thousands of others indirectly.

The flower industry is one of the Kenya’s foreign currencies earners with the country currently ranked as the world's third largest exporter of flowers and foliage.

Mr Tulezi has called for quick interventions from the relevant government agencies, warning that the jobs of more than 150,000 employees are in danger.

At the root of the crisis is extremely slow testing of shipped in fertiliser by Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs), which is “highly inconveniencing” the sector players.

“The process of testing is slow and we have on several occasions engaged the government on this, but the response from the relevant ministries has been, at best, lethargic,” said Mr Tulezi.

The CEO instead wants government to revert to the pre-shipment inspection to help resolve the crisis that is almost crippling the lucrative sector.

As a result of the excruciating slow testing procedures, two companies which were allowed to make shipment have a consignment of 880 and 750 tonnes respectively lying at different warehouses owing to the 100 percent testing requirement.

His worries were echoed by Agricultural Employers Association (AEA) chairman, Tom Ochieng, who said fertiliser was an important component in the growing of flowers.

The chairman called on the relevant agencies to quickly expedite the testing processes, painting a grim future for the sector that offers employment to thousands of Kenyans.

Mr Tulezi has called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and have the issues resolved, insisting that the sector players had in the past not experienced any issues with shipped fertiliser.

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