HIGH costs of electricity, diesel, freight and agricultural inputs are chocking the flower sector. Juliet Musoke, the head of the Uganda Flower Exporters Association, explained that the poor road network to the flower farms, had not helped the situation.
Musoke disclosed that a number of flower farm proprietors maintained the roads at their own cost. They paid between sh10m and 15m annually on road works, Musoke added.
â€œThe poor conditions of the roads has got a direct impact on the quality of flowers. This is contributing to the already high costs of doing business,â€ she said recently at a workshop on the status of Ugandaâ€™s floriculture industry at the Imperial Royale Hotel, Kampala.
She said because of the poor roads, the repair bill for trucks was estimated at $1,500 (about sh2.5m) per month.
â€œWe believe that the bigger percentage of this is due to the poor roads,â€ she said. She said high freight costs had also made the sector uncompetitive.
This, she said, had remained the major constraint over the years. Freight charges in Uganda were $2.30 per kilo in April compared to Kenyaâ€™s $1.70 to $1.75.
Costs chock flower sector