Earnings from cut-flower dropped by Sh3.1 billion in May as demand fell in major international markets due to supply chain disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Latest Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Leading Economic Indicator shows that the value of cut-flowers dropped to Sh6.254 billion in in May, compared to Sh9.384 billion in the same period last year.
“The quantity of exported cut-flower dropped to 10,215.07 metric tonnes (MT) in May 2020 from 15, 337.77 MT last year,” data shows.
In March, flower companies reported a 40 percent drop in orders amid cancellation of orders and travel restrictions. Subsequently, more than 30,000 temporary workers were sent on forced leave as companies struggled to meet wages.
“Only 50 percent of our nationwide workforce is currently working with the percentage expected to plummet to 25 percent in the coming two to three weeks,” Kenya Flower Council chief executive Officer Clement Tulezi said in March.
The Knbs indicator however shows that the value of exported fruits went up from Sh1.152 billion to Sh5.642 billion during the same period.
“The quantity of fruits went up from 8, 915.71 MT to 13, 492.24 MT during the same period,” the data shows.
Similarly, vegetables went up from Sh1.810 billion to Sh2.176 billion in the same period.
“The quantity of fruits of vegetables went up from 5, 275.12 MT to 4, 281.66 MT during the same period,” the report adds.
According to the regulator, the Agriculture and Food Authority, Kenya’s earnings from horticulture exports including flowers, fruits and vegetable, fell 7 percent in 2019 to Sh142.72 billion from Sh154.7 billion, mainly due to lower prices of flowers at the auction in the Netherlands.