Kampala — Three flower firms, Wagagai Ltd, Ugarose Flowers Ltd and Jambo Rose have pledged to invest $17.8m in Uganda's flower sector in the next 4 years aimed at increasing flower export volume on the global market.
The investors said in Kampala that, the market is available on the international market but they cannot afford to maximize it due to limited production.
This they tag to the high cost of growing flowers and the shortage of land, where they can establish more greenhouses used for flower growing.
In the next 4 years, Wagagai Ltd will invest an additional $14.1m between 2017 and 2021. Jambo Roses pledged to add $1.8m while Ugarose Flowers will inject $1.9m in the same period.
Daniel Kiryango the Jambo Roses Ltd Chief Executive Officer said their investment will enable them to procure more land for greenhouses expansion. They will also acquire more modern farming inputs and other mechanized equipment.
"Our Directors have approved additional capital to be injected in the company. The target is to see that, we increase production capacity by using modern technology and expanding the farming acreage.
"By 2021, we shall be in position to compete with our counterparts in other countries like Kenya and Ethiopia," said Kiryango.
Juliet Musoke, the Executive Director of Uganda Flowers Exporters Association said Uganda exports only 8,000 tons annually yet if they can address the challenges of lack of cold rooms at Entebbe Airport, high cost of Electricity and inadequate land for flower farmers, their export volume can hit 20,000tons.
"Flowers farmers need more support because currently we are hiring the storage facility at Entebbe Airport.
"We appeal to the government to enter into joint partnerships where we can pull resources and construct modern storage facilities at the airport to ease the problem of poor storage," said Musoke.
"Looking at the industrial sector, our government is doing well. Through Uganda Investment Authority, they have established industrial parks.
"The same should be done to flower sector," said Stanley Musiime the Managing Director Ugarose Flowers Limited.