By Namugerwa Martha
The fall of Uganda’s economy and currency has forced many flower exporters to stop investing in the country but try green pastures somewhere else.
The Uganda flowers exporters association (Ufea) Executive Director Juliet Musoke said that many flower companies have moved to Ethiopia due to the economy and weather of Uganda.
“Uganda has lost eight flower companies to Ethiopia due to the down fall of the economy and also their rise of commodities,” Musoke said.
Musoke added that flower companies pay shs 30 million per month in taxes to the government yet they have been constantly incurring losses because of the drought which does not favor the good growth of some flowers.
“Flowers need a cool weather to grow well but the drought cost many investors a lot of money because the sun burnt most of the flowers,” Musoke added.
The Floriculture Industry has played a major role in poverty eradication and bringing in foreign exchange revenue. Flower exports include Valentino, Sonrysa, Belle Rose, Red Calypso, Tucam,Viva.
However, Rose production boasted the economy in 2008 through importing roses which consisted of sweetheart roses which have small heads and can easily adapt the Ugandan climate. The other type is the intermediate roses which have bigger heads. Chrysanthemum cuttings production is by Fiduga, Van Zanten and Waggagai flower farms, while potted plants are produced by Florema a subsidiary of Waggagai.
Additionally, International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a report in may this year stating that the growth of Uganda’s economy is projected at 3½ to 4 percent.
The drought held back activity in the first part of the year therefore the Private sector credit is an additional drag and the slow execution of externally-financed public investment also contributed the economy’s slope down however with weather conditions improving and a recovery in credit, growth could accelerate to 5 percent in the next Financial year.