FLOWER firms are planning to open up more acreage at higher altitudes in the country where they can grow larger buds, a move which will double export receipts to $50m(about sh100b) within the next three years, a top industry official has said.
Uganda Flower Exporters Association executive director Keith Henderson said the climate around Lake Victoria where most of the flower farms are located is too warm during day and night to lead to harvesting of large buds.
Henderson said farmers would soon be moving to higher altitude areas where the climate is warm during day and cooler at night.
â€œThe 2003 export revenue is $26m, but we plan to double the industry from about 190 hectares now to over 400 hectares in the next three to four years, then we shall give Uganda $50m,â€ he said.
Henderson said the price of the small-bud sweetheart roses which have been Ugandaâ€™s biggest flower export had been reducing over the years because of the changing trend in flower preferences.
â€œNearly all our exports go to the European market, which now prefers flowers with large buds. Growing these flowers will enable us compete better with Kenya who are our biggest competitors in Africa,â€ he said.
Henderson said at his office in Lugogo, that 70% of all Ugandaâ€™s flower exports go to Dutch auctions while the other 30% go to direct supermarket sales in other European countries.
Flower companies head for uplands