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A ban on the shipment of Tanzanian flowers destined for Europe and other destinations via Nairobi has finally been lifted by the Kenyan authorities, following the signing of a MoU between the two neighbouring countries. According to The Citizen, the ban was originally imposed by Kenya in May 2011 to protect the country’s flower industry from pests, which the authorities suspected had infected Tanzanian roses. Tanzanian horticulture industry group Taha says that the ban has lost the country’s flower farmers cut-rose clients in the UK, Australia, Japan, Russia and Italy. Prior to the lifting of the ban, horticultural industry players in Tanzania had started talks with international airfreight carriers to ship their exports directly to markets overseas instead of using Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, which traditionally handles about 60% of horticultural exports from Tanzania. Airlines contacted include Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways, which recently introduced direct flights to the Kilimanjaro International Airport.

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