The potential of floriculture in Rwanda is proven now. However, not that much has been done so far to develop local, regional, and international demand for flowers grown in this country. According to François Nsenga of NINAF Ltd., Rwanda should perhaps explore the floriculture sector more and look beyond offering fresh flowers only. "We see that preserved flowers are quickly gaining in popularity. So what about dried flowers?"
Over the last 3-4 years, this product developer has been experimenting drying, dyeing, and scenting flowers he grows and harvests from the wild in Rwanda; and thus far he is pleased with the results and with local and international consumers' reactions to his samples.
Lily of the Nile, African Lily .
Two of the varieties of which the experiments were successful:
Ornithogalum umbellatum (Star-of-Bethlehem) and Agapanthus africanus (Lily of the Nile, African Lily).
These flowers are grown by NINAF Ltd., in Rwanda and have been dried, cured, and scented with essential oil distilled from Tagetes minuta (fungicide, insecticide), also grown by NINAF Ltd.
Together with APROHADE (a cooperative of handicapped and marginalized Rwandan ladies), NINAF Ltd. brings these flowers on the market, for the first time, during this coming festive season. The Ladies, members in APROHADE, sew the sachets and do the hand embroidery.
Agapanthus and Ornithogalum in Pot-pourris, with Christmas tree and the "Star of Bethlehem" embroidered.
Ornithogalum embroidered by APROHADE on different souvenir items
"With sustainable floriculture in mind, wouldn't this be a start for an organized world market for ornamental dehydrated flowers, along the existing market of fresh cuts?"