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Farm Transformation

  • By faber
  • September 29, 2016

Floriculture is one of Kenya’s top foreign exchange earners. Flower farmers however face numerous challenges that have affected the sector’s competitiveness. It is one of the fastest growing agricultural sectors of Africa. Since 1990 flower exports have increased by approximately 20% per year. Flower farming has surpassed coffee and tourism as a source of foreign exchange. According to the Kenyan figures there are 150 registered companies which collectively produce about 120,000 tonnes of flowers per year.

More than 500,000 people in the country depend on the trade according to the Kenya Flower Council, with roughly half of the country’s 127 flower farms concentrated around Lake Naivasha, around 90 kilometers northwest of Nairobi. Kenyan growers are now lending their floral expertise to neighboring country Rwanda. Out of Kenya alone, 3,300 tonnes on average per week of flowers are exported. Kenya leads in the export of cut flowers to the European Union (EU) with a 38 per cent share, according to statistics from the Kenya Flower Council (KFC).

Faber Infinite with its expertise has created a niche and emerged to be one of the crucial role players to improve the productivity of flower farms in East Africa. It has been working with a huge landscape of clients delivering excellent world class quality of flowers. While working with clients in East Africa, it was successful in streamlining various developments to improve the overall costs and productivity of the farms.

Team Faber Infinite identified four significant areas for improvement:

Improving the yield

Scientific approach of Design of Experiments has been deployed with great results for developing planting standards. The aim was to extract maximum yield from optimal utilization of finite resources. While working at client sites in East Africa which are leading exporters of flowers, a remarkable improvement of 33% was obtained in terms of productivity.

Reduction in Field and Pack House Rejections

Projects to reduce rejections are initiated during analysis phase, and plans for maintaining workplace are devised and rolled out. Also dedicated steering teams with clear guidelines help to improve the processes, initiate actions and monitor progress. The core objective is to find the exact root cause and take appropriate countermeasures to prevent waste generation. As a result of which, rejection has been reduced by 41%.

Developing people skill set

Floriculture is a labor intensive business. It requires people to be trained for particular skill sets and develop certain standard procedures to be followed. Deployment of these standards provides the suitable set of skills required and also improves the quantity of yield.

Improving the maintenance of cold chain

The scientifically developed modules by Team Faber helped the client in maintaining the exposure time of flowers which further helped in sustaining the quality of flowers. By deploying appropriate standards, the team has been successful in reducing exposure time of flowers and has also proved helpful to increase the exports by more than 40%.

The scope of progress in terms of cost and productivity improvement is tremendous and can be further enhanced by sustaining the existing methodology. By deploying appropriate standards for inventory management, taking appropriate countermeasures to prevent waste generation and implementation of planting standards, overall farm performance can be increased.

Faber Infinite’s unique Farm Transformation methodology is helping people grow more flowers per square meter, month on month!

Written By: Faber Devna Chaturvedi