Kenya risks being blacklisted from exporting flowers to the lucrative European Union market due to poor screening of produce.
Kenya Flower Council CEO Clement Tulezi is urging relevant authorities to step up the screening of flowers before export to reduce the risk of losing shipping out produce with armyworms or their eggs.
Flower exports generate over 80 billion shillings annually with the Rose flower accounting for 85 percent of the total exports.
The invasion of the armyworms in Kenya is threatening shipments to the lucrative European Union market, since the bloc is under armyworm quarantine.
Tulezi says armyworms lay eggs on rose flowers that are shipped out if flowers are not properly screened.
A flower logistic forum heard that direct flights between Nairobi and New York coupled with introduction of new routes linking Kenya to the rest of the world have opened new flower markets for the country.
Netherlands which is one of Kenya’s key flowers markets has offered to train local exporters on better packaging, to increase the value of the produce in the international market.
Flower exporters have been challenged to acquaint themselves with the international flower standards to help them produce quality flowers that can compete effectively in the international market.