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Flower industry boom as Uganda gets more Valentine’s Day orders

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Rosebud flower farm managers take journalists around the farm recently. Uganda has more orders for Valentine’s Day flowers this year FILE Photo  

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

Posted  Friday, February 14  2014 at  02:00

In Summary

Numbers. Country has so far exported 200 tonnes.

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KAMPALA.

Uganda has received more Valentine’s season flower export orders this year, a development that points to a good year for the industry.

This is good for the industry which suffered a setback when the main market, European Union, went through a recession that saw consumers cut back on their expenditures.
Speaking to the Daily Monitor, Mr Dimple Mehta, an administrator at Rosebud Limited-the leading producers of roses in the country revealed they have received more orders this year.

“This year we have received more orders compared to the previous years,” he said.
Industry sources say that it is still hard to tell how many tonnes will be exported because, this being the peak season, orders are still coming in.
However, partial figures indicate 200 tonnes have so far been exported.

Last Valentine’s season, the country exported more than 145 tonnes to the Netherlands –Europe’s main flower auction market, up from 130 tonnes in 2012.
Clarifying on the industry’s performance, the Executive Director Uganda Flower Exporters Association, Ms Juliet Musoke, said the industry has been showing signs of improvement in both volume and value.
In 2013, the country exported 6,773 tonnes up from 6,444 tonnes exported in 2012.

Ms Musoke says production for exports at present has suffered due to some constraints like the high cost of energy.
“The cost of energy is still prohibitive. We are still using generators for more than 40 percent of the time at a cost of Shs15 million to Shs30 million a month,” Ms Musoke adds.
The cost of diesel has risen by over 55 per cent in last five years, from Shs1, 680 in 2004 to Shs3, 500 per litre in 2013.

dnakaweesi@ug.nationmedia.com