Kenya’s flower exports rise despite Covid-19

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Russell Padmore Business correspondent, BBC News

Kenya’s flower exporters are enjoying a good year, despite problems caused by the restrictions imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The value of exports like cut flowers reached $1.1bn (£845m) between January and October, almost 9% more than the same period last year.

Kenya’s Horticultural Directorate said there was an increase in global demand, despite concerns that the coronavirus pandemic would hit the industry.

Earlier this year the industry was alarmed at disruption caused by airlines being grounded and so unable to fly flowers as cargo to customers in Europe.

Business may have picked up recently but the sector is now growing concerned that the second wave of Covid-19 in Europe is creating uncertainty about demand for flower exports in the coming months.

Alongside exports of tea, horticulture is a major earner of foreign exchange for Kenya, which is the world’s fourth biggest exporter of flowers – after the Netherlands, Colombia and Ecuador.