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Kenyan greenhouse operator Oserian wins Int’l Grower of the Year Award

Roses in Oserian's greenhouses in Kenya (source: Oserian)
Alexander Richter 26 Jan 2019

Kenyan greenhouse operator Oserian has won the "Oscar" of the international greenhouse operator community and has been named International Grower of the Year. The company is known for utilising geothermal energy to heat its operation.

Kenyan greenhouse operator Oserian Development Company Limited, has won a coveted prize at this year’s International Grower of the Year awards held in Germany. Details on the awards can be found here.

As reported by Kenyan Broadcasting Company, Oserian was the only African grower nominated for recognition at this year’s awards ceremony.

Dubbed the Oscars for plants, The International Grower of the Year Awards, AIPH, an annual fete organized by the International Association of Horticultural Producers, and now in its tenth year, seeks to celebrate excellence and best practices in flower production.

So why is this a big deal, well Oserian has been championing the use of geothermal energy as part of its operations operating two small geothermal power units and utilising heat of geothermal wells in the Naivasha area of Kenya.

“We use the earth’s heat instead of fossil fuels to warm our greenhouses. Spread across more than 120 acres of land, this geothermal heating gives us constant temperatures, reduces humidity to below 85% and prevents diseases like downy mildew, so we don’t need to use fungicide sprays.”, so Oserian on its website.

To meet this demand, Oserian has developed a diverse portfolio across the 200 hectares it dedicates to cut flower production.
‘Champions by nature’. With over 100 hectares, rose production is still dominant but the numerous supporting crops such as Statice, Spray Carnations, Gypsophila, Sunflowers, Eucalyptus, and a wide range of green fillers enable Oserian to create a vast assortment of bouquets.

 

The Company utilizes the integrated pest management (IPM) system, hydroponics to reduce water and fertilizer consumption and has the world’s largest geothermal heating project for maintaining temperature in its greenhouses and for injecting vast amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) needed to stimulate healthy, strong plant growth.

“We are proud that our investment in innovation and responsible flower growing mechanisms continue to be recognized on the global stage. In an increasingly competitive and dynamic market our cut flowers have excited markets and positioned us as front runners in sustainable flower production” said Mary Kinyua the Director of HR & Administration at Oserian.

This year’s competition which drew participants from across the world saw Oserian take pride of place alongside producers in other categories from China, Belgium and Poland.

“The 2019 IGOTY Awards provide an opportunity to put a spotlight on the best in our industry, showing the world the quality businesses that exist,” Bernard Oosterom, President of AIPH said. Ms. Kinyua says the win gives the Company fresh impetus to respond to diverse market needs while growing its portfolio. “As demand for cut flowers burgeons and customer preferences change, we continue to position our business to respond to these dynamics while remaining true to our philosophy of having sustainable flowers that are ethically grown.”

Source: KBC, AIPH.org