The solar power projects are also meant to enable the farms reduce their use of diesel power generators, the main option for many flower farms in Kenya when there is electricity blackout, a Chinese state run news agency reported.

The latest flower farm to start putting up a solar power project is Red Lands Roses, based in Ruiru, 27 km east of the capital Nairobi.

"We are putting a 30 kilowatt project to help us reduce on our cost of electricity and the amount of diesel we use," said Aldric Spindler, managing director of the farm.

Several flower farmers said that there is a need to cut costs at every level of production because of the increasing costs of growing the flowers, most of which are exported to Europe. They added that cost of fertilisers, labour and air freight have all gone up, necessitating cost reduction measures.

Another flower farm, Uhuru Flowers, has launched a 72 kilowatt solar power plant in a bid to cut its spending on electricity by about 50 percent, from USD 6,000 per month six months ago.

"The unreliable, low quality electricity created a need for an alternative source of energy," said flower farm owner Invan Freeman.

The farm, which exports exclusively to the Russian market, is located in Nanyuki, 230 km from Nairobi.

The solar power project at Uhuru Flowers is now being used by the Kenya Flower Council as a case study of how other flower farms can use solar technology to cut the cost of production.


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