The Government announces plans to introduce carbon credit trading in the flower sector

In a move set to boost revenue for flower farmers and increase foreign exchange earnings for the country, Kenya has announced plans to introduce carbon credit trading in the sector. This initiative also aims to reduce the carbon footprint and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Representing the Deputy President, Mr. Rigathi Gachagua at the opening ceremony of the 11th International Floriculture Trade Expo (IFTEX) at Oshwal Cemtre in Nairobi, Dr. Idris Salim Dokota, the Principal Secretary, State Department for Cabinet Affairs said the move will enable flower farms increase their incomes by engaging in carbon credit projects.

“We are in the process of enacting the Carbon Credit Trading and Benefit Sharing Bill of 2023. This proposed legislation aims to create a robust regulatory framework for carbon credit trading and benefit-sharing,” said Dokota.

He added that by adopting sustainable practices and reducing their carbon footprint, growers can earn carbon credits that can be traded internationally. “This will not only support our environmental goals but also add a new income stream for our farmers, enhancing their economic resilience,” said the PS.

The theme of this year’s Expo was Sustainability which he says resonates deeply with the government’s commitment to nurturing Kenya’s floriculture.

 

Proposals of the bill

According to Dokota, the objective of the Carbon Trading Bill, 2023 which was sponsored to parliament by Hon. Joseph Lekuton (Laisamis) is to establish a regulatory framework for the trading of carbon credits and benefit-sharing in carbon credit trading.

“This proposed legislation aims to create a robust regulatory framework for carbon credit trading and benefit-sharing ratios between the Carbon Trading and Benefit Sharing Authority, the national government, the relevant county government, the community, and the project proponent depending on the carbon resources,” he said.

Other proposals by the bill include introduction of carbon trading permits for persons intending to carry on carbon credit trading business, establishment of a Carbon Credit Trading Register, creation of a Carbon Trading and Benefit Sharing Authority and establishment of a Carbon Credit Trading Tribunal. All these regulatory bodies will have their distinctive roles and responsibilities as outlined in the bill.

 

Carbon Credits

According to Dr. Daniel Mulat, a biogas scientist and the laboratory manager at the International Livestock Research Institute’s Mazingira Centre, carbon credits represent measurable and verifiable reductions in GHG emissions and its trading is already a viable venture in the international market.

“Carbon credit trading is increasingly becoming a lucrative global business. Just a tonne of CO2 equivalent offset by farmers has a potential sale value of USD10-20,” said Mulat during an exclusive interview with Smart Farmer Africa late last year.

He says carbon market brokers aggregate these offsets from farmers and sell them on a voluntary carbon market, a digital platform where large organizations such as Amazon and Microsoft and individuals can purchase them to offset their GHG emissions.

 

Flower sector growth

Mr. Christopher Kulei, the Kenya Flower Council (KFC) Board Chairman said with around 5,000 hectares dedicated to flower cultivation, the industry exports over 200,000 tonnes of flowers annually, valued at $900 million, bringing in vital forex revenues to the economy.

“The floriculture sector accounts for more than 70% of total horticultural exports, employing over 200,000 workers, most of them in rural areas,” he said.

Additionally, it indirectly provides employment to 1 million people involved in the supply of goods and services and affects over 4 million people.

By Zablon Oyugi

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