If you live in Europe and buy roses, the chance is good that they were grown in Kenya -- specifically, in one of the colossal greenhouses that blot out the once wild shores of Lake Naivasha, 90km north-west of Nairobi. Image from NASA's Terra satellite.

If you live in Europe and buy roses, there is a good chance that they were grown in Kenya—specifically, in one of the colossal greenhouses that blot out the once wild shores of Lake Naivasha, 90km north-west of Nairobi. Some 25% of Europe's cut flowers come from Kenya. After a tentative start in the 1980s the industry is now the country's third-largest foreign-currency earner, bringing in $120m a year. But the recent violence in Kenya is having a major impact on the flower growers. A local trade union says 3,000 of the 30,000 workers employed in Naivasha's flower farms have abandoned their jobs. Kenya emerged as a flower power when Israel scaled down its own industry. It has since lost business to neighboring Ethiopia, which offers tax breaks and better security, but Naivasha's perfect intensity of sunlight and days of near-constant length should keep it on top.

The ASTER image was acquired February 2, 2008, covers an area of 25 x 26.6 km, and is located near 0.8 degrees south latitude, 36.4 degrees east longitude.

The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

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