Ugandan flowers finally enter Chinese market

Uganda has now joined her counterparts, Kenya and Ethiopia in supplying flowers to the lucrative and huge China market.

The entry followed numerous trial shipments by Rosebud Ltd, the country's largest exporter of roses, which culminated from its participation in the just concluded China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo held in Hunan and Kunming provinces of China.

The first-ever commercial shipment of flowers from Rosebud, left Entebbe international airport to Beijing, China on July 29.

“When we presented our flowers to the China market, the first question they asked was how long your flowers stay, what we call the vase life. In Uganda, the vase life is between 12 to 15 days. So, they were impressed with the Ugandan flowers,” the Rosebud Ltd farm manager, Ravi Kumar, said during an exclusive interview with The Observer at the farm in Ssisa sub-county, Wakiso district on July 31.

“China is far, but apparently it is such a huge market and the demand is there. We need a stable market, not just an export market.” Kumar added.

So impressed were the Chinese with the Ugandan flowers, that they used them to decorate the venue where the China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo was held, Finance minister Matia Kasaija recently said at the annual Uganda Bankers Association conference at Serena hotel. China’s only concerns were the quality and sustainability of supply according to Kasaija.

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