The floricultural sector in Uganda consists of cuttings companies and rose farms. Existing companies and export organisation UFEA would like to see further expansion of the floricultural industry in the African country. But it will require critical mass to be competitive.
The Ugandan floriculture sector can be described as homogeneous. Companies grow either cuttings or cut roses. The cuttings companies have been expanding significantly in recent years.
Most of the rose farms – 119 ha in total – on the other hand, stayed relatively small. Apart from one company, which has an acreage of 60 ha, most of the other farms are between 8 and 12 ha, reports Esther Mekambi. She’s been the executive director of the Uganda Flower Export Association (UFEA) since 2019. Mekambi has been active in the Ugandan floriculture sector for 25 years. She previously worked for Fides, Wagagai and Selecta One, among others.
These farms, which produce roses with medium-sized flowers, haven’t expanded during the past few years. They don’t earn enough. Until 2019, the growers traded via an agent. Mekambi: “It meant that they couldn’t negotiate about their prices. They now have more than one buyer. But there’s still the disadvantage that their roses are produced for the low-end market. You can’t really negotiate about a cheap product.”
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