Flower firms close over reducing sales
Posted Monday, January 21 2013 at 02:00
Dropping sales. Uganda’s flower industry continues to experience low sales due to volatilities in its major markets in Europe and the Americas.
Uganda’s flower industry continues to face pressure on account of falling sales, high costs of business, bad weather, Eurozone crisis and government’s failure to offer support to local producers where necessary.
Last week, Elma Roses, located in Mukono Districts exited the market joining a list of others that have closed shop in the recent past.
Other firms that have closed include Sayifah Flowers, Victoria, Melisa, Shalum, Venus Farm, Vero, Magic, Expressions Company, and MK Flora among others.
Speaking to Daily Monitor, Mr Lawrence Kazibwe the owner of Elma Roses, said it had become inevitable for them to close due to low sales and government’s decision to priotise foreign firms.
He said there was no way local firms would grow if the government does not give them support.
Data from the Uganda Export Promotion Board indicates that in 2011, Uganda exported 5,765 tonnes of flowers worth $30.6 million, while in 2010 3.472 tonnes worth $22.4 million were exported.
However, the industry has since 2008 registered a slowdown in the growth of sales as economic volatilities continue to batter Europe and the Americas – some of the key markets for Uganda’s flowers.
When contacted about the matter Mr Silver Ojakol, the commissioner for external trade at the Trade Ministry, said his office had not been furnished with the details of the happenings in the industry.
He said: “I am just hearing this from you. They have not asked us for assistance. There are issues that we can resolve but this can only happen if we know of them.”
He added: “Some problems are outside our control and we cannot solve them. Take for instance, the Eurozone crisis that has crippled businesses. Remember Europe is our biggest flower market.”
Meanwhile, efforts to reach Ms Juliet Musoke, the Uganda Flowers Exporters Association executive director were futile as she could not pick or return our calls by press time.