A file photo of Kenyan roses. (Photos: China Plus)
As the first China International Import Expo is coming closer, one of the expected highlights is the flowers imported from Kenya which may be on display at the event.
It's been reported that Kenya's horticultural sector has become the country's third largest foreign exchange earner, following tourism and tea.
Kenya is also the world's fourth largest exporter of cut flowers thanks to the fast growing flower industry.
Kenya's Flower Council believes that one of the reasons is the growing demand from the Chinese, and even the Asian market.
He Qinwen, a Chinese businessman who conducts flower trading in Kenya, said China is gradually becoming Kenya's biggest market for exporting flowers.
"Kenya's export of flowers to China is growing at the fastest speed among all the export markets. Kenya's export of flowers to Europe is dropping. Thanks to the Chinese market, Kenyan farms have made more and more profits, which further boost Kenya's flower market," said He.
Kenya's floriculture industry earned some 820 million U.S. dollars in 2017, rising by 20% year on year.Tushar Vyas is in charge of a 35-hectare flower farm under the Subati Flowers near the Naivasha Lake.
He said red roses are the most popular variety among Chinese consumers, especially the Red Rhodes.
Tushar Vyas is in charge of a flower farm under the Subati Flowers near the Naivasha Lake in Kenya.
"Maybe Chinese people like Kenyan roses with good quality, so they may be starting to come and give us more orders. Here in Naivasha farm, we have the (rose blossom's) size, which we can see, at 7.5 (centimeters in length). Kenya is a hub of flower industry, so you can find a lot of flowers along the Naivasha Lake, that's why (the export) is (gradually) increasing," said Vyas.
Various flowers are planted in the flower farm near the Naivasha Lake in Kenya.
Subati Flowers exported 1500 tons of flowers to the Chinese market over the past year.
As the transportation becomes convenient, it only takes one or two days for Kenyan roses to be delivered to Chinese consumers.
He Qinwen expected that the upcoming China International Import Expo will see more Kenyan products enter the Chinese market.
"Apart from flowers, Kenya is also renowned for other agricultural products including fruit, nuts, tea, coffee, and also wood carving. The products are quite organic with high quality. We hope that more Kenyan agricultural products can enter the Chinese market and gain their market share," said He.
A worker is examining the roses planted at a flower farm in Kenya.
The China International Import Expo will be held in Shanghai from November 5 to 10.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will lead a delegation of horticultural farmers and traders to China for the event, and a number of trade deals are also expected to be sealed.