Nakuru-based Pyrethrum Processing Company has been forced to accumulate flowers for five months before production as dwindling deliveries from farmers hamper operations at the once vibrant firm.
Pyrethrum Directorate head Andrew Osodo said the firm has to collect 100 metric tonnes of flowers in a span of five months before it can start processing.
The plant has a capacity of 25 metric tonnes of flowers a day, but it is hardly getting enough from farmers to sustain daily operations.
“The factory is not operating efficiently and that is the main reason we collect flowers for five months to enable production,” said Mr Osodo.
The last time the factory processed the crop was in October.
He said the plant is currently running after it accumulated enough crop from the farmers.
Recent statistics from the directorate indicate that the volumes of flowers supplied to the processor dropped from 390 metric tonnes in 2014 to 290 metric tonnes last year with projections for 2017 expected to dip further.
In 2014, the extract from pyrethrum exports earned Kenya Sh200 million, Sh207 billion in 2015 and Sh120 million last year.
Kenya plans to revive the trouble-ridden pyrethrum sector to reclaim its glory as the world’s leading pyrethrum producer.