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Kenyan flowers bloom in Chinese market
Kenya, the world’s fourth largest exporter of flowers, is seeing continuous growth in its volume of flowers exported to China year after year.
A gardener keeps record of the growing condition of roses in Subati Flowers' greenhouse in Kenya. (Photos: People’s Daily/Lv Qiang)
The launch of direct flights between cities of China and Kenya has enabled the flower markets of both countries to align with each other, said the general manager of a Kenyan flower company who is called by his Chinese name He Qinwen.
He disclosed that while it used to take three days for Kenyan flowers to be transported to China, nowadays flowers produced in Kenya can be delivered to Chinese consumers within about 20 hours, making China the fastest growing consumer market of Kenyan flowers.
According to He Qinwen, his company exported about 330 tonnes of flowers to Chinese market in 2016, and materialized a dramatic increase to about 1,000 tonnes in 2017.
Workers trim the freshly picked roses in a workshop Subati Flowers.
Chinese people prefer traditional red roses, said He Qinwen, adding that flowers are in great demand in China during festivals like Valentine’s Day.
Kenyan flowers are high-end varieties in the Chinese market, and are gradually becoming the “new favorite” of flower suppliers and consumers, said Li Qiu, CEO of a Chinese flower company based in Guangzhou, south China’s Guangdong province.
Li expressed that in recent years, Chinese people have showed increasing demand for flowers, which has caused the country’s supply to fall short of demand sometimes. With the improvement of consumption capability, Chinese people are willing to buy better imported flowers, Li added.
A Kenyan worker with the properly trimmed roses.
“Kenya’s flower industry has advanced breeding and planting technologies, and their agricultural standardization system can yield 98 percent of all qualified produce,” disclosed Qi Bo, who was in charge of the flower division of Shanghai Jiuye Supply Chain Management Company, a Chinese logistics company specializing in frozen products.
According to Qi, his company has carried out cooperation with Red Lands Roses Ltd, and is going to purchase about 150 tonnes of flowers from the company next year.
It’s learned that during the first China International Import Expo (CIIE), held in Shanghai this November, Kenyan flowers were important exhibits of the Kenya pavilion.
The Kenyan government hopes that Kenyan agricultural produce including flowers can enter the Chinese market, expressed He Qinwen, who was designated by Kenyan government to help with the preparations for the expo at the Kenya pavilion.
The first CIIE has opened the channel for Kenya to export more products to China, said Peter Biwott, CEO of the Export Promotion Council (EPC) of Kenya, noting that Kenyan flowers and other agricultural produce at the expo have huge potential in the Chinese market.
Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries signed outcome documents on the promotion of trade facilitation and quarantine measures for agricultural produce with relevant Chinese departments at the first CIIE, which has not only helped bring Kenyan flowers in, but is expected to boost the export of over 40 percent of Kenyan agricultural products and accelerate their step to the international market.
The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held in Beijing this year showed that China has opened its markets wider and wider to the world, which will bring a lot of benefits to the bilateral trade between China and Kenya, said the senior manager of Subati Flowers in the famous flower-producing area Lake Naivasha in Kenya.
The manager expressed that he hopes Chinese People favor Kenyan flowers, and also expects to see more Kenyan agricultural products entering the Chinese market faster and more conveniently.
And that’s People’s Daily Tonight, thanks for joining us.
(Produced by Chi Jingyi)