Flower farming in Rwanda

The floriculture sector is recovering from the recent global financial crisis which led drop in output.  Rwanda produces mostly roses for the export market is there is little domestic demand for rose flowers.

The farmers produce roses under greenhouse production and the acreage is still small. There are plans to double Rose production to include summer flowers through the aggressive and ambitious out-growers programme.Flower farming has a lot of potential in Rwanda because of the favourable climate and offers the best prospects for transforming rural economy.

The cut flowers sector is among the non-traditional export crops with high potential export for Rwanda.  The sector brings in revenue in excess of 9.5million euro. The flowers are mainly exported to Holland and Belgium

Flower Project in Rwanda
The government plans to establish a floriculture demonstration centre on 200 hectares of land [The Flower Park] in the eastern province aimed at developing the demand for rose flowers in the local market. The project is to be carried under public private partnership financing arrangement.

The project is valued at US$21 million in investment cost and is expected to produce over 95million stems annually during the first phase. The production techniques will ensure that 95% of products are of export quality.

Flowers growing districts
The following are the key flower growing districts of Rwanda

  • Kigali
  • Butare
  • Gisenyi
  • Rulindo

 Varieties that Rwanda
The varieties of roses grown in Rwanda include the following;

  • orchids
  • carnation
  • Asters
  • Dahlias
  • Marigolds
  • Chrysanthemums

Challenges in the sector
The sector farmers are facing the following challenges;

  • High Airfreight cost of flowers to the export markets.
  • The under de­veloped infrastructure from the rural areas to the airport.
  • Duty on inputs on inputs is an additional costs
  • Challenges of consistent volumes and quality of production.
  • The resources to adopt the irrigation methods.
  • Lack of local expertise in the flower sector.
  • Challenges in getting local financing as the sector is more capital intensive.
  • The undeveloped marketing systems.
  • Lack of export compliance mechanism.

Opportunities in the Flower Sector
The opportunities offered by the sector include the following;

  • Rwanda has conducive climate for quality flower production.
  • The country has the potential produce other plants including ficus, palm trees, alstromeria and senseveria.
  • The government can avail land for flower farming.
  • There is plenty of demand for flower exports from Rwanda.
  • There is cheap labour in Rwanda