Rwanda Courts International Flower Market

7 November 2019

Rwanda flower growing companies are seeking to expand their global market reach by showcasing at the world's biggest flower market place International Floriculture Trade Fair (IFTF).

The fair, which opened yesterday in its The Netherlands, is in its 10th edition with Rwanda featuring for the third time.

The Netherlands is the world's biggest flower market and by far the largest contributor to Rwandan flower exports (98 per cent).

The three-day trade fair brings together the world's floriculture industry, to promote fresh flowers and plants, while aiming at increasing production and consumption.

This year, Rwanda is featuring with intentions to grow and promote the country's floriculture sector. The intended outcome is a positive impact on sales and demand of Rwandan flowers through the Netherlands flower auction market.

The IFTF experience has also oriented the companies to improve their production area.

The floriculture sector in Rwanda has in recent years grown to attract investors and a market due to opportunities and market links for the cash crop.

Rwanda's delegation includes two flower growing companies (Bella Flowers and Bloom Hills) as well as representatives from National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB).

Cynthia Uwacu, the representative of NAEB at IFTF 2019, said that the fair is an opportunity for the Rwandan delegation to create international market linkages between Rwandan roses and summer flowers producers and international buyers.

"We are here to create awareness of the 'Rwandafresh' brand on the global market," she said.

Shungo Harada, the Managing Director of Bloom Hills Company, added that they chose to participate with an aim to interact with buyers, learn about prevailing market trends and understand the dynamics in the floriculture auction market.

The attendance of the Rwandan delegates at the IFTF will be an opportunity to draw lessons about "flower branding and tourism" from the Netherlands and replicate in Rwanda.

The delegates' participation in the IFTF 2019 also aims to support the target of growing exports to $140 million by 2020.

The current production acreage of flowers in Rwanda is projected to increase from 40 hectares to more than 500 hectares in 2050.

Sustaining the projected increase in production will require equal initiatives in creating market links through the Netherlands market and flower hub.

In support of the goals and objectives, Rwanda has introduced a weekly direct cargo flight to Europe with hopes to ease the transportation of agriculture exports.

The new cargo service, operated by UK-based Magma Aviation, specialises in air freights globally, operating every Friday, carrying 25 metric tonnes.

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