To meet the global demand of Uganda’s flower exports, local investors have decided to invest an extra US$17 million in the sector over the next four years.
Local firms Wagagai Ltd, Ugarose Flowers Ltd and Jambo Rose said in Kampala that they cannot meet the demand of flowers on the international market due to limited production attributed to high costs and shortage of land to establish greenhouses.
During the four-year period, Wagagai Ltd will invest extra US$14.1 million between 2017 and 2021. Jambo Roses said it would inject US$1.8million while Ugarose Flowers would raise US$1.9 million.
The Jambo Roses Ltd Chief Executive Officer Daniel Kiryango said the extra investment would be used to procure more land for greenhouses expansion and also to buy inputs and machinery.
“The target is to see that, we increase production capacity by using modern technology and expanding the farming acreage. By 2021, we shall be in position to compete with our counterparts in other countries like Kenya and Ethiopia,” Kiryango said.
The Managing Director of Ugarose Limited, Stanley Musiime, urged government to create flower growing zones as it has done with the development of industrial parks across the country. “The same should be done to flower sector,” he said.
Juliet Musoke, the Executive Director of Uganda Flowers Exporters Association said Uganda exports only 8,000 tons annually in light of the challenges of cold rooms at Entebbe Airport, high cost of electricity and inadequate land for flower farmers.
She said if the challenges can be addressed Uganda has the capacity to export 20,000 tonnes of flowers.
“We appeal to the government to enter into joint partnerships where we can pull resources and construct modern storage facilities at the airport to ease the problem of poor storage,” said Musoke.