Uganda: Flower exports recover, increase by 30 per cent
Uganda: Flower exports recover, increase by 30 per cent (Uganda) Flower exports recovered for the period ended June after suffering a massive decline occasioned by Covid-19...

Flowerexports recovered for the period ended June after suffering a massive declineoccasioned by Covid-19.
In March, Uganda Flowers Export Association reported that exports had fallen byat least 90 per cent.

However,the commodity, according to Bank of Uganda, has been recovering since May,reporting export receipts of $4.2m (Shs15.5b) in May.

Flowerexports have further, according to Bank of Uganda, recovered in June, recordingrevenues of $6m (Shs22b), which represents a percentage recovery of 30 percent.

Inthe period under review, a total of 760 tonnes were exported up from 528 tonnesin May.

Industrialanalysts attribute the improved performance to several factors, among which wasthe increase in the number of cargo flights in and out of Uganda.

TheApril global lockdown had eaten into the flower sector, which sufferedsuspension at various auction markets including in Netherlands, which is one ofUganda and Eastern Africa’s biggest flower export destination.
Ms Esther Nekambi, the Uganda Flower Exporters Association programmercoordinator, yesterday told Daily Monitor the improvement in flights,especially cargo, was the major driver for the recovery.

Duringthe lockdown, she said, many countries had suspended flower exports, butUgandan exporters had sustained supply to most countries, although at reducedvolumes.

“Wewere able to leverage on that advantage. There was scarcity in the market,” shesaid, noting that Uganda was also helped by the harsh weather in flower exportcountries such as Kenya.

Theflower industry employs more than 10,000 people, majority of whom are women (80per cent).

However,the industry continues to work below capacity due to partial lockdown,especially at Uganda’s main entry and exit point – Entebbe InternationalAirport.

“Weare anxious because of the increasing cases of Covid-19,” Ms Nekambi said,noting the industry had experienced a lot of difficulty, during the lockdown,especially in terms of logistics and transportation.

Therecovery, she noted, is still shaky given that some of the export destinationssuch as Europe, are facing the threat of recurrence in Covid-19 case andlockdowns.

“So,we are hoping there will be no lockdown in Europe. We are trying to see andhoping that it doesn’t get worse than it is already,” Ms Nekambi said.

The flower industry continues to grapple with the high cost of energy. Onaverage electricity bills per farm is between Shs25m and Shs30m per month.
According to Ms Nekambi, in order to survive in business alternative sources offuel are used like diesel to run the generators, which on average costs betweenShs10m and Shs20m.

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