Floriculture is a major global industry in both developing and developed countries. Global trade volume is estimated to be worth more than $100bn per annum. The main players are divisible into producers in developing countries and consumers in developed countries, including many in Africa. The major consumer markets are Germany (22%), the US (15%), France (10%), the UK (10%), the Netherlands (9%), Japan (6%), Switzerland (5%) and Italy (5%).
Production centres stretch from Africa to Asia and Australasia.
Flowers Sector in Uganda
The Uganda flower sector is quite small and is made up of about 20 flower farmers and covers a surface area of about 200 ha. The farmers grow flowers in custom-built greenhouses and the flower sector is directly employing about 4,000 people.
Most flower farms are located near the shores of Lake Victoria because of availability of fresh and good quality water throughout the year. This also creates an advantage of being near the Entebbe International Airport as flowers are transported by air. There are also cooling facilities at the airport.
Uganda is currently exporting about 6,500 metric tonnes valued at $32 million.
Flower Farmers in Uganda
The list of flower farmers and exporters include the following:
- African agro industries (u) Ltd,
- Kajjansi Roses Ltd,
- Fresh Handling Ltd,
- Venu Farmers,
- Oasis Nurseries,
- Royal Van Zanten Ltd,
- Party Services Florists &Decorators,
- Jackson Uganda Ltd,
- Rosebud Ltd,
- Plants Africa,
- Sulma Foods,
- Fiduga Ltd,
- Flower Place,
- Uganda Flowers Ltd,
- Blessed Events,
- Rusadia Florists,
- Uganda Heritage Roots,
- Nimu Designs, and
- Holding Ltd
Uganda is now the third largest supplier of small roses to the Dutch auctions and also exports to the following countries :
- Sudan 14.3%
- Kenya 9.5%
- Switzerland 9%
- Rwanda 7.9%
- UAE 7.4%
- Democratic Republic of the Congo 7.3%
- UK 6.9%
- Netherlands 4.7%
- Germany 4.4%
It is important to note there are no small-scale growers of flowers in Uganda because of its high investment.
Conditions that enable flower growth.
The conditions that enable flower growth include the following:
- Climatic aspect where Humidity is brought up and Evaporation slowed.
- Low Temperature helps in quantity of flowers harvested, number of petals per flower, stem length, flower colour, length of neck of rose, bullheads, blind shoots and vase life effect of humidity and temperature
Types of Rose Grown in Uganda
- Sweetheart(short stem,small to medium flower heads).
- Tea hybrids(long stem,big flower heads).
- Sprays(medium stem,minimum of 4 flower heads per stem).
The following conditions favour flower growing in Uganda:
? Reliable water supply from the rains, rivers, lakes and swamps.
? The temperature around Lake Victoria ranges from maximum 28ºC daytime down to around 18ºC at night. These are perfect temperatures for flower growing in the west higher land altitudes, night temperatures drop to 12ºC enabling large headed roses and a wider range of other cut flowers requiring cooler night temperatures can be grown.
? The soils are also very fertile.”
Support from Government
The standard tax and non-tax incentives are available to the sector and the Government has also allowed flower farmers to import flower farming inputs free of duty.
Impact of Flower Farming On the Environment
The use of substrates will reduce the use of soil disinfectant chemicals and will allow re-circulation of the nutrient solutions. Both of these production concepts are seen as important measures to reduce the impact that the sector has on the environment.