1. Uganda: Local flowers bloom with promise (East Africa Business Week)

| November 9, 2009

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Uganda’s flower farmers have something new in their gardens. Most farmers grow imported flower varieties. Their crops are shipped abroad for sale. But now farmers have a reason to focus on local flowers and the local market.

The global flower industry suffered during the economic downturn. And while the economy is showing signs of recovery, the outlook for flowers remains bleak.

Juliet Musoke is Executive Director of the Uganda Flower Exporters Association. She says flowers are a luxury and people are not spending on luxuries. At the international level, the price and demand for flowers remains low.

Locally, things look more promising. Venie Karekaho is a small-scale flower farmer. She has noticed a significant increase in local flower purchases in the 10 years she’s been in the industry.

Ugandan farmers hope to improve their revenues by experimenting with local flower varieties. These varieties hold greater appeal in the local market.

By focusing on the local market, Uganda’s farmers hope to reduce their dependency on imported flower varieties and the volatile export market.