Flower farms in the country face closure in the coming months following an acute shortage of fertilizer which has affected their operations.
At risk is over 150,000 workers who are employed directly with flower stakeholders pointing at Kenya Bureau of standards for the current crisis after holding back over 1.6 metric tones for inspection.
The Kenya Flower Council says the country’s flower production could deteriorate due to the persistent crisis that has been ongoing for the past five months.
Kenya Flower Council CEO Clement Tulezi says the sector was at its lowest with over 1.6 million metric tones of fertilizer awaiting inspection, delays which could hurt quantity and quality.
Tulezi claims there are over 750,000 metric tones of fertilizer being held by Elgon Kenya and another 880,000 in Yala awaiting inspection by the Kenya Bureau of Standards.
Agriculture Employers Association chairman Tom Ochieng’ notes that currently about 2,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer is available meaning some farms will be forced to scale down their production or worse close down.
Tulezi says the current challenges coupled with high labor wages has led to job losses despite the sector earning the country 82 billion shillings in the last financial year.
He says some farmers are facing cash flow challenges as KRA had delayed refunding 5 billion shillings the tax agency owes farmers in VAT refunds.