Featured Past Articles
Kenya’s Access to Europe Remains Intact

Kenya will continue enjoying duty-free and quota-free access for its goods to the European Union (EU) even if neighbouring countries fail to approve the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).

Josiah Rotich, the chief trade development officer at the Trade ministry, said that Kenya will, however, not enjoy other benefits that come with the EPA until all East African Community (EAC) partners ratify the deal.

Among the benefits that will remain pending is the rules of origin, a provision that allows Kenyan exporters to enjoy dutyfree access to the European market despite their goods being made using raw materials sourced from other countries.

“On the basis of Kenya ratifying the agreement, the country will continue benefiting from the duty-free, quota-free access for as long as we are still trying to sort ourselves out at the EAC level,” Mr Rotich said during a roundtable meeting organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).

Low-Down on Downy Mildew

Rose growers have a relatively benign group of insect pests to deal with and so focus most of our pesticidal attention on the fungal disease -- powdery mildew -- that seem to bedevil us on a yearly basis. However, every few months, we are confronted with a far more virulent fungicidal invader known as downy mildew. Downy mildew is a fairly common term as far as plant diseases go.

Downy mildew disease poses an increasing problem in the horticultural industry causing serious losses in many floricultural and greenhouse crops.Downy mildews present a challenge to growers both because the disease can be present but not obvious; and because they are difficult to control with fungicides once established. The pathogens are very different from Powdery Mildews- they attack different plants under very different environmental conditions, and are controlled by different classes of fungicides. Downy Mildew diseases are caused by a group of fungus-like organisms: they are not true fungi, and are similar to Pythium andPhytophthoraspecies. Most of the Downy mildew fungi are host specific and infect only one plant family.


Regional Briefs

Zimbabwe: Cut Flowers Export Down by 95%
Zimbabwe’s exports of cut flowers declined by 95% to $3,1 million in 2015 due to the stringent export requirements needed by the government, ZimTrade has said.

In 2002, Zimbabwe was the second largest exporter of cut flowers in Africa, after Kenya, exporting flowers worth $60m globally, according to the country’s export promotion body.

In his mid-term fiscal policy review, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa proposed to eliminate export permits in the horticultural sector to provide an opportunity for cut flower growers to tap into the export market.

Historically, about 70% of Zimbabwe’s flower exports came from Banket, Concession, Glendale, Bindura, Harare, Goromonzi, Trelawney, and Kwekwe, mostly growing roses.

Other flowers included proteas, asters and chrysanthemums. The Netherlands is Zimbabwe’s largest export destination for cut flowers, importing an average of 69% of the country’s flowers in the last 15 years. ZimTrade said there was need for local flower growers to keep abreast with stateof- the-art production practices, as well as marketing techniques

Despite unrest in homecountry, Ethiopian Farms Present at IFEX Japan
The three-day event took place at the Makuhari Messe in Tokyo, Japan. It was a crowded show with an increased amount of international exhibitors. Jeroen van der Hulst of Flowerwatch, who was so kind to send some pictures of the show, was amazed by the presence of the Ethiopian rose growers. “Farms from the region Sebeta, like ET Highland and Yalkoneh were present at the show despite the terrible happenings.”

Kenya: 60,000 Flower Farm Workers Get 25 Percent Pay Increase
Over 60,000 flower farm workers across the country are set to benefit from a 25 per cent salary increase.

This is after the Agricultural Employers’ Association (AEA) signed officially a pending Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Central Organization of Trade Union (COTU).

Representing flower farm employers AEA Chief Executive Officer Wesley Siele said some 60,000 are the targeted beneficiaries of this new remuneration.

Siele said the two year CBA which will be expiring in July 2017 will be backdated to July 2015 when it was agreed upon.

“I know it is a little late to formalize this agreement but we have been having extensive discussions that have given us a clear way forward,” he said.

Apart from increasing pay, the CBA will also be looking into improving the workers’ working conditions.


Market Briefs

Dutch Flower Traders Provide Glimpse of Brexit Consequences
The British public’s vote to withdraw from the European Union is expected to trigger slowdowns in trade and higher costs for many European shippers, but the so-called Brexit may have one victim that’s been overlooked: Dutch flower traders. Officials at Royal FloraHolland, the world’s largest trading center for plants and flowers, say they are already bracing for their No. 2 customer’s departure. The June referendum did not have an immediate impact on the flower trade, but UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement last week that she plans to trigger a two-year window for exit talks by the end of March has put the Dutch flower traders on a deadline.

The traders — who trade more than 12 billion flowers per year and whose international business has a 40 percent market share — are now looking for new markets.

This decision is going to impact links down the supply chain, particularly in air cargo, as the traders are heavily reliant on it to move their cargo. “The Brexit, certainly for our industry, is not positive,” said Edwin Wenink, director of the center’s Floricultural Logistics Optimization Worldwide, or FLOW, program. “You can already see it coming. At the moment still we do not see a huge effect, but we can imagine in the future there will be an effect.”

Wenink and other Dutch officials peg that future date at two and a half years from today, roughly the date of May’s planned “hard break” from the European Union.

Ecuador: Agriflor Looks Back On Show With Satisfaction
Agriflor 2016 ended with a result that could be described best as “The Perfect Trade Fair”, according to the organizers. First of all the down town location of the exhibition was warmly welcomed by visitors and exhibitors. People felt relieved and freed to be able to leave for a while during show hours. Not because the need was there, but just the idea that one could leave for a break, to go for example to the hotel if one wanted, was giving everybody a feeling of independence.

Secondly, the size of the show was such that it allowed everybody to have an overview in one glimpse, without losing the idea of being in a complete show with all new varieties on display that the Ecuadorian flower industry has to offer. The 2nd floor enabled everybody to get a helicopter view of the fair.

The atmosphere in the Hall was of a composition which created a unique ambiance. Almost 150 exhibitors from Ecuador and 17 other countries on 5,500 m2 exhibit space, offered to over 1,000 international flower buyers a complete picture of what can be sourced in the market at this moment. Especially cut roses but also many other types of fresh cut flowers were put on display for the international flower buyers that visited this 3 day trade show in Quito, Ecuador.


Breeders Briefs

Olij Roses Joins Dümmen
Olij Breeding, with head office in De Kwakel, is to become part of the family of companies known as Dümmen Orange. The two parties have reached agreement on the transfer of shares.

This integration will enable Dümmen Orange to expand its assortment within the roses product group, giving it access to a wider sales network. Olij’s activities in the field of breeding, propagation and production of plant material in South America, Africa and the Netherlands offer opportunities to achieve maximum customer value and bring more innovations onto the market for growers.

“Becoming part of Dümmen Orange will enable us to offer a more extensive assortment to all our customers and make use of technical knowledge and logistics in order to create a better product,” says Ruud Olij, Director of Olij. “Our activities are highly complementary and we look forward to achieving enhanced added value for our customers and agencies worldwide.”

Biense Visser, CEO of Dümmen Orange: “We are very pleased that Olij has joined us. This means that we can once again take the next step in building our global position in the ornamental horticulture sector. Roses are an important product, a big market with a great deal of potential. We will therefore continue to seek further opportunities within this product group.”

The merger also brings benefits in the area of disease control and phytosanitary solutions. Through its Green Care policy, Dümmen Orange is adopting targeted measures to supply healthy cuttings and plants. Hans van den Heuvel, R&D Director at Dümmen Orange: “When preparing for the acquisition, our priority was the implementation of Green Care for roses, including an ‘Elite’ step in the process which will enable us to guarantee a clean product. Our customers can be confident that this will result in a long-term improvement within a few months.”

Knowledge in the field of DNA-marker assisted breeding is also being shared with Olij, allowing more targeted breeding of roses with, for example, resistance to diseases and pests. This will make both cultivation and the product more environmentally friendly and more sustainable. Harry Kloppenburg, Commercial Director at Dümmen Orange: “Olij’s activities offer potential for optimising our breeding activities for more crops and bringing better and innovative varieties onto the market. The synergy benefits of breeding, sales and marketing make this a great opportunity for both companies.”

The Latest Autumn Varieties by Interplant Roses
“The morns are meeker than they were, The nuts are getting brown; The berry’s cheek is plumper, The rose is out of town....”

That’s said in a poem by Emily Dickinson, but Interplant shows that the rose does contribute to the autumn season. Their new spray rose varieties have colors that match this time of the year. Interplant introduces the spray rose varieties Earth & Fire, deeply orange coloured, and Candelicious, with a soft white tone and pink edge.

Brexit and Plant breeder's Rights
Martin Ekvad outlines what the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) foresees as the likely implications of Brexit for plant breeders, both British and from other countries.

For the plant breeding industry, it is important to get assurance that titles granted before Brexit will still be valid in the UK following Brexit. The question of whether titles granted by the CPVO could be valid in the UK after Brexit, and possible conditions for such a scheme, is also frequently put to the CPVO. CPVO President Martin Ekvad said, “These and other questions will be subject to negotiations between the UK and the EU.”

Ekvad believes that it is important that a user-friendly solution is found which will not add to unnecessary administrative work for EU breeders seeking protection in the UK, and UK breeders seeking protection at EU level.

Introducing: Rose Safari a Premium Rose Selection
Leading strategic solutions and unpacking service provider Flower Optimal Connections are proud to unveil their brand new selection of premium Kenyan roses under the banner ‘Rose Safari’.

Rose Safari not only features exclusively selected premium roses from top Kenyan rose growers but also draws aesthetic comparisons between these roses and the beauty of Kenya’s Wild.

The brand marketing follows a journey of a lone ‘rose explorer’ as he visits several well known safari destinations in search for the best premium roses. The roses are packed in special ‘Rose Safari’ boxes and shipped directly to florists across Europe. Rose Safari Video

Introducing: Rose Safari A Premium Rose Selection
All over the world, narratives of Kenya’s majestic wild have been shared. Each tale speaking of her distinctive beauty, her unique culture, her untouched splendor, and sights & sounds presented in diverse shapes and colors.

The Safari country, where the BIG FIVE tear through dense jungle and vast plains. Where all year round nature-fed rivers snake through the floors of the Great Rift Valley with breathtaking landscapes and volcanic mountains forming an exquisite background.

Kenya is also known to be the land of beautiful roses. Rose varieties of diverse colours, shapes and sizes are grown amid this natural beauty.

De Ruiter Creates Genetics for low altitude T-Hybrid Mix
Named Best Stand at the Naivasha Horticultural Fair 2016 With a century of breeding experience globally & over 20 years in Kenya. The company considers rose farming as serious business ‘Every day is Valentine’s Day’ & we stick by our motto ‘Creating Flower Business’. With officesin main flower growing areas. the company is truly a global brand.

The company has recently been striving to increase its market share in the low altitude T-Hybrid varieties and feels it has created enough synergy at this level with +5cm head sizes, +60cm stem lengths (Ensuring auction marketability), excellent vase life performance, good pest & desease resistence & 140 stems p/sqm production figues.

This will provide the market with new lines and an improved quality and saleability of larger headsizes as demanded by most of the retailers and consolidators during the dynamic market changes and new demands.

Flori Briefs

Flower Exporters Test Maritime Cold Chain
“ Though the amount of flowers transported by this method is not yet large enough to be considered a trend, a combined maritime and air transport method known as backhauling has recently begun to expand. “

Dutch flower conglomerate Royal FloraHolland has begun seeking a combined maritime and air cargo alternative to sole air transport, the Journal of Commerce reports.

As maritime cold chains make vast improvements in reefer container and control technology, Royal FloraHolland is exploring the advantage of splitting transport between ships and planes, thereby cutting costs by 38% and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by 87%.

Though the amount of flowers transported by this method is not yet large enough to be considered a trend, a combined maritime and air transport method known as backhauling has recently begun to expand. Shipping lines have been investing heavily in their refrigerated cargo capacity, hoping to capture a cold chain market that had long eluded them given the differences in time of transport between ships and airplanes.

Flowers, like fruits, are a perfect example of why this is the case: consumers place a premium on freshness of these items and any time delay, even in temperature controlled rooms, can cost the company. As a result, only 1.6% of the dutch company’s exports cross an ocean (to the U.S.), while the rest are sold in Europe.

Of course, the shipping lines are not expanding their capacity to increase their market share of the flower market — other cold chain goods, like pharmaceuticals, are far less time-sensitive so benefit for the increased scale of transport maritime cargo offers.

Yet, as real-time visibility and temperature controlled capacity increases, flowers and food companies may begin to benefit from increased the scale as well. After all, demand for cold chain products is far more reliable than the demand for a manufactured good.

Kenyan Growers Eager to Grow New Garden Cut Rose
Each variety reacts differently to altitude and this cannot be predicted.
Garden type cut roses and scented cut roses are highly demanded but known for their short vase life. For this reason, breeders are investing time and money in developing this popular variety type with the desired habits. And Rosa Eskelund of Roses Forever is such a breeder. She invested years in breeding a cut rose that does not only look like a garden rose, but also smells like a garden rose and has a long vase life. After ten years of breeding, she succeeded and after nearly 5 years after trialing the variey, now the so-called Rosa Loves Me® series enters the market. And they seem well demanded varieties for mainly Kenyan growers. “We receive many positive reactions and many are eager to plant new beds of these varieties”, says Rosa.

Rosa Loves Me® roses
Rosa Loves Me® is a new rose brand that consists of seven varieties. According to Rosa, all these cut rose varieties have the looks and many the scent of a garden rose and have a very long vase life. “They last for 12 days up to 3 weeks”, she says. “And on top of that, the healthiness of these varieties contributes to the sustainability of their production in for instance Colombia and Kenya”, says Rosa. The names of all varieties start with Rosa Loves Me® and the names of the new varieties are: Sweet, Tender, Two Times, With Heart and Soul, Over the Moon, Purely, and, Just a Little Bit More.

Demand Kenyan growers
Five years ago John Pouw, who is responsible for the marketing within Viking Roses, sent the first budwood to Kenya, only enough to make a few plants per variety. And it has been a slow process. “It took several propagation rounds, and therefore a lot of time, to come to the 50 plants required for a first test”, says Pouw. “Then you need to ‘build up’ the plant to see it for 4 flushes. So. another year gone. Then expand to a full bed. Of course, many varieties are beautiful, fragrant, long life, but do not pass the productivity requirements.” Finding the best altitude for each variety is another challenge. “Take Rosa Loves Me® With Heart and Soul,” Pouw says, “Up to around 1400m and above 2000m the stems will be crooked. In between, they are nice and straight.”

Today, the first reactions have come back from the wholesale and retail customers. According to Pouw, these are positive. “Now the first commercial plantings are on their way to three farms in Kenya and one in Colombia and it is time to reveal the varieties to a larger public at IFTF”, she says. “And it is interesting to see that the same retailers that demanded head sizes of at least 5 cm are now saying that for the Rosa Loves Me® series, averaging at 4.5 cm at 2400m, this is not necessary”, says Pouw. “Emotion cannot be standardized. The auctions have been masters at this, but in the end the consumer decides.

Look at the history of Rote Rose in Japan. Production was terrible, plants ugly, flowers small, but if you saw and see the end product presented to the Japanese buyer, you understand the high prices.” And Pouw predicts a similar future for Rosa Loves Me®, with flowers slowly opening into diameters 12 cm. They will not flood the market with the varieties, the supply will follow the demand. “Cultivation licenses will only be issued to those farms that are complementary in the market.”


If you improve safety, at the same time you also improve product quality and product and process efficiency.

Top quality is every grower’s trademark. Safety is another important priority: Growers take things further than is legally necessary and set the bar extremely high. The result? millions of working hours without any accident leading to absence, working methods and production processes which are efficiently organized and an undisputed product quality.

Growers need to draw up clear guidelines to limit dangerous situations as much as possible and reduce the chance of incidents. The most important ones are summarized as the so-called ‘golden guidelines’ ‘Certain for instance when it comes to working at height, loading and unloading, separating pedestrians from forklifts and working in closed areas.’ It is essential of course that employees adhere to these guidelines. ‘According to the law, you are not allowed to drive faster than 50km/hr in urban areas. But not everyone is adhering to that rule either,’. ‘Research showed that the unsafe situations within companies are for 90 per cent the result of decisions of employees to do something or not.

Stimulating safety awareness is therefore crucial.’ That is why stimulation of the safety culture and safety behaviour of people receive a lot of attention in floriculture. Most growers organise annual safety day. During this specific day employees are actively involved in workshops and receive medical checks. In addition, each employee receives a socalled safety visit. ‘An employee is being visited by a trained colleague who observes them and advises on improvements.

These are so-called Safety Management Auditing Technique-audits, or in short SMAT-audits. In this way growers prevent people from getting blinkered view, because they have been doing their job for a very long time. Research shows that people with routine jobs run the largest risk of getting an accident.’

The mentioned safety guidelines in combination with the focus on safe conduct is clearly bearing fruit. Flower growers employees are extremely safety conscious and – very important – point out unsafe behaviour to each other.

Safety on Site
Growers not only find it important for employees to work safely within the company premises, companies pay attention to safety on the road and at the grower’s location. ‘Many colleagues travel a lot and visit clients. Research has showed that calling while driving is extremely dangerous, even when it is done hands free. Growers guideline therefore states that in case of bad weather or important calls, to park your car first. It is still a challenge to find a balance with regards to this specific issue.’

Experience teaches us that safety on site at the grower is not receiving sufficient attention yet, not with regards to their own personnel nor third parties. According to a grower working on height is a good example. ‘Every day production employees, consultants and suppliers use installations which take them high up in the greenhouse. At every point that works up to 6 metres high needs to follow a safety training first, be secured and use a helmet on a certified installation that is regularly checked. This is not without reason! The number of deadly accidents while working at height is extremely high all over the world.’

This is exactly why growers will train the employees who regularly work in greenhouses on how to work safely at height and make them more conscious about the existing dangers. In the future we also want to take into account other unsafe situations in and near greenhouses. A possible example for instance is making machines energy free when they are being maintained. ‘This knowledge we also want to share and discuss with clients in order to increase safety awareness among growers. We hope this will be an eye opener for them.’ Although the average horticultural company can improve a lot when it comes to safety, in other aspects the horticultural sector is leading. ‘Other sectors can learn a lot from the hygiene protocols that are implemented in horticulture.’

Multiple benefits
The focus on safety does not only result in extremely low figures of occupational injuries; growers are benefiting in other fields as well. ‘If you improve safety, at the same time you also improve product quality and product and process efficiency. ‘Working safely does also imply working error-free. When a machine is not directly accessible because of fencing, you cannot fix small problems quickly. You therefore have to guarantee that the machine always works perfectly. Those issues benefit the quality and the working methods. All these factors are interrelated and strengthen each other. That is why working in a safe way leads to multiple benefits!

What Peat is?

Peat is the most common material used in plant growing media, but have you ever thought about what peat really is?

Organic Growing Medium Made By Nature
Peat is a mixture of decomposed plant material that has accumulated in water-saturated bogs in the absence of oxygen. Peat formation is a continuous process, with bogs typically accumulating peat at a rate of 1-2mm every year. The rate of accumulating plant material is greatest in areas where the ambient temperature is high enough for plant growth but where the level of rainfall, specific topography of the landscape and low transpiration rates encourages waterlogging, limiting aerobic microbial activity which would normally break down the plant material.Such conditions are found more frequently in the northern hemisphere.

Uses of Peatlands and Peat
Peatlands are used and managed for many different purposes. Undrained peatlands are natural habitats for a wide range of endemic species of fauna and flora, and are a known carbon sink, locking up carbon released as CO2 into the atmosphere. As such, many bogs, particularly in Europe, are protected for their wildlife value, as well as their contribution to limiting climate change,with specific protection under national and European laws.

Historically,large areas of peatlands have been drained, and used for agriculture and forestry,as well as for the extraction of the peat itself. In the country of origin, extracted peat can be used as a local source of energy (biomass as a fuel for power plants), and for use in horticulture as a mayor constituent of growing media.

Peat is only harvested from carefully selected sites where specific extraction permits have been obtained from the local government of that area. These areas are selected, in part, because of their limited conservation value. Where areas are identified as having a conservation value, these are protected and not used for the extraction of peat. For example, in the European Union, peat extracted for fuel or horticulture is taken from just 0.4 % of all peatlands.

Out of all industries that have an impact on peatlands, including forestry and agriculture, it is the peat extraction companies who are regulated the most. For example, prior to starting to extract peat, it can take several years before all permissions are granted. The entire process from applying for the permit to actually extracting peat for the first time can take up to 10 years. This may include, as well as assessing the site at the beginning for its conservation value, having specific plans, and money set aside, to ensure that the bogs can be regenerated when the peat extraction ends.

After obtaining the necessary permits, the first thing that is done is to create a series of ditches across the peatland to drain the water from the bog. This encourages the surface layers of peat to dry, and enable its extraction.Before drainage, a natural peatland has an extremely soft surface which prevents any equipment or machines to be used on the surface. It can take up to three years until extraction can start after the first ditches have been excavated.

Once the peat is ready to be harvested, this then takes place during only the summer months (roughly from May to September) when the weather is sunny and windy enough to help dry the surface layers of peat.

Peat for use in horticulture is extracted using two different methods. The first method produces the so called “milled peat”, and the second method produces “sod peat”.

Milled peat
During the harvest,1 - 3 cm thin layers of peat is milled or harrowed loose from the surface of the drained peat bog. After several days of drying under the sun, and when the peat is sufficiently dry (approximately 40-45% moisture content), it is collected directly from the surface of the peat bog by vacuum harvesters or, collected mechanically from ridges previously built.

Stockpiles of peat are formed at the peat bog and, by the autumn and winter, are covered with plastic foil. Finally, when required at the factory, the peat is transported to the production facilities, where it can be further processed.

Sod peat
During sod peat harvesting, big blocks of peat are dug out directly from the bog with special equipment up to a depth of approximately one metre. The sods of peat are left on the surface of the bog to drain excess water. When blocks start to dry in the springtime, they are piled manually in small piles to dry further, until they are dry enough to be processed in the substrate producing unit.

During the preparation and production of peat, the best available technology (BAT) is used in order to protect environment and ensure sustainable production.

When peat extraction finishes on a site, the area will be used for other purposes, which has usually been pre-determined at the point of receiving the extraction permit. The three main options for afteruse of a peatland are forestry, agriculture or re-wetting to create a new bog. Where bog regeneration is specified by the licencing authority, drains are blocked, and native plants are raised and planted to encourage the regeneration of a natural bog ecosystem.

Natural Pyrethrum: A Solution

Natural Pyrethrum: A Solution for Whiteflies, Aphids, Thrips, Mealybugs, Caterpillars, Mites, Bugs, Beetles, Scales and Many More

Growers are faced with challenges from pests ranging from pests in the soil that attack the root system to those that attack the stems, leaves or buds posing an economic damage or aesthetic damage to the crops and thus leading to low production yields.

The most commonly found pests on crops are whiteflies, thrips, diamond backmoth caterpillars, African bollworm caterpillars, beet armyworm, mealybugs, aphids, stinkbugs, mites, leaf hoppers, jassids, cutworms, beetles, ants and others. There are different methods of controlling these pests ranging from biological controls, cultural methods, physical methods and chemical controls.

Farmers prefer a pest control method that has a fast action to the pests though they put into consideration issues of efficacy, post-harvest intervals (PHI), maximum residual levels (MRLs), phytotoxicity, resistance, safety of predators, pre-entry time after spraying, human and environmental impacts particularly on crops such as vegetables, flowers and fruits; and whether for export or for local market. For the export market there are regulations on the kind of molecules to be used on different crops by the consumer markets and significant issues with MRL’s. One of the molecules that has been in use for years for the control of pests is the pyrethrin molecule. Pyrethrins are the active ingredients in pyrethrum derived from the dried flowers of the plant.

The advantages of using pyrethrum based products for control of pests are:


  • Pyrethrum is 100% natural
  • Low mammalian toxicity: No other insecticide can claim such a long record of proven safety towards humans and warm blooded animals. It is one of the least toxic of all insecticides and is rapidly metabolized if accidentally swallowed (in tests toxicity to rats was found to be 4,000 times lower than toxicity to the house fly).
  • No resistance issues as insects lack immunity to pyrethrins because of the complex structure of pyrethrins and thus one can spray pyrethrins continuously. Pyrethrins have six active compounds called esters and thus attacks the pests from six different points.
  • Broad spectrum activity: this means that it has an activity on all insect pests
  • Has a fast action: it gives a knockdown effect on the insect as it works by contact and also by affecting the nervous system of the insect.
  • Environmentally friendly: pyrethrum quickly breaks down in sunlight leaving no residues.
  • No Pre-harvest Interval: this allows pyrethrum to be applied to crops up to and including the day of harvest. It may also be applied post harvest.
  • Repellency action: it is capable of repelling insects in addition to knock-down.
  • Very low Re-entry Period: After spraying, workers may return to the greenhouse as soon as the spray mist has settled.
  • No Residues: Pyrethrum quickly breaks down in sunlight leaving no residues. This is particularly significant where MRL’s are an issue (typically with export vegetables and fruit)


Pyrethrins are usually confused with pyrethroids but they are different in that pyrethrins are natural while pyrethroids are synthetic or man-made; pyrethrins have six active compounds while pyrethroids have one and this makes pyrethroids far more likely to be exposed to resistance by insects. Pyrethrins have a unique ability to induce excitation behavior in insects, characterized by erratic and increased movement by insects. This has the benefit of ‘flushing’ the insects out of hiding places, resulting in increased exposure to the Pyrethrins. Synthetic Pyrethroids do not have this flushing effect. Pyrethrins are naturally broken down by UV rays and PH variances and therefore have shorter environmental persistence than synthetic Pyrethroids.

KAPI LIMITED, a company based in Nakuru has specialized in pyrethrum formulations since 1964. It formulates a pyrethrum product called Flower DS 4% EC for agricultural use. Made with Kenyan pyrethrum, Flower DS 4 EC is a 100% natural formulation using only natural ingredients. Flower DS 4 EC may be used for conventional spraying in spray regimes in order to minimize the chance of resistance developing with the other insecticides used in the spray regime. It is also ideal for use on crops controlled by MRL’s. Flower DS 4 EC is also suitable for organic farming.

WINROSE J. MARIA, Sales Manager Agricultural Insecticides, Kapi Limited, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , 0710615604

Healthy Soil; Healthy Plants

Undervalued, neglected resource
Undervalued, the soil has become politically and physically neglected, triggering its degradation due to erosion, compaction, salinization, soil organic matter and nutrient depletion, acidification, pollution and other processes caused by unsustainable land management practices. The irony is that the main culprit of soil degradation is the very thing that most relies on healthy soils: agriculture. Industrial agriculture’s intensive production systems, which rely on the heavy application of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, have depleted soil to the point that we are in danger of losing significant portions of arable land.

It is estimated that on nearly one-third of the earth’s land area, land degradation reduces the productive capacity of agricultural land by eroding topsoil and depleting nutrients resulting in enormous environmental, social and economic costs. Most critically, land degradation reduces soil fertility leading to lower yields.

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