The Kenya Flower Council (KFC) is positive that the transport costs for flowers will lower by half with the nodding of direct flights between Kenya and the United States.
Cargo flights which ship flowers to America from Kenya have to transit at Amsterdam or South Africa which makes the shipping cost high.
But KFC says the charges will significantly lower following the move. Cargo flights are currently charging Sh400 ($4) per kilogram to the US. “It is going to be cheaper for us to export our flowers to the US once direct flights to America start, this will be a big boost to our growers who will see their earnings improve,” said chief executive officer Jane Ngigi told Business Daily.
The council says it is gathering market intelligence on the status of the American market, entry points and investment opportunities.
Last year, 133,000 tonnes of flowers were exported to America, up from 130,000 tonnes the previous year.
Ngige disclosed that the US market would raise competition for Kenyan flowers globally as currently nearly all the produce from the country is sold in Europe. “Exports to the US implies we will have diversified our markets and we will no longer have to rely on Europe as our major buyer; this will make our produce competitive because of an alternative market,” she said.
Kenya’s largest airport Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) was this year granted Category One status by American authorities. paving way for direct flights between Nairobi and the US.