- Fertiliser association chairman says most farms may not meet local and export demand of flowers due to the crisis.
As the world readies to mark Valentine’s Day on February 14, flower growers are a worried lot as fertiliser shortage arising from delays at the Mombasa port continues to bite.
Over 1,000 tonnes of calcium nitrate meant for flower farms are still lying in Mombasa awaiting clearance by a multi-agency team.
Farmers say if the situation is not addressed, flower exports as well as local supply will be affected.
With the looming shortage of flowers, Sunday Nation has learned that prices will be hiked ahead of Valentine’s Day.
The multi-agency team headed by Deputy Head of Public Service Wanyama Musiambo was formed to clean the Kenyan market of illicit goods and prosecute graft.
It is yet to clear the fertiliser consignment meant for flowers.
“We are really concerned over the slow pace at which this multi-agency team is taking in clearing goods at the port. This problem is not only affecting the flower industry, but other sectors as well,” said Mr Eustace Muriuki, the chairman Fertiliser Association of Kenya.
Mr Muriuki said the farm input has been held at the port for more than four months and pleaded with the government to enact other measures that will see clearance expedited. He added farmers have been compelled to use other fertilisers that are not good for flower farming while others have not top-dressed.
“As fertiliser traders, we are normally issued with Certificate of Conformity (CoC) to show the compliance of the shipments. It provides the Kenya Bureau of Standards and customs with proof that the goods being imported are in compliance with the relevant standards and technical regulations,” he said.
However, despite producing the document, he said, importers are still subjected by the team to another clearance process which takes time.
The team, consisting of Office of Director of Public Prosecutions, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Kenya Revenue Authority, National Intelligence Service, Financial Reporting Centre, Asset Recovery Agency and Directorate of Criminal Investigations, is mandated with safeguarding standards of investigation and citizens’ interests.