THE POTENTIAL OF FLORICULTURE IN THE DIVERSIFICATION OF THE CASH CROP ECONOMY OF UGANDA

J.C.M. Ddungu
Agriculture will remain the most important source of income and employement in Uganda during the forseeable future, coffee and cotton continuing as the main foreign exchange earning crops; the value of these two crops amounted to E. A. Shs 374 933 150/- and 231 800 138/- respectively in the 1968/69 season (Kakonge, 1969). With the fall in price of these commodities on the world market, there is great need to look for alternative crops with an export potential. Since Uganda is a land-locked country, any alternative crops must be of such high value that they can be air-freighted overseas and still produce a profit.

The demand for cut flowers and pot plants in some European countries has more than doubled over the last ten years and is steadily increasing. The area under cultivation with ornamental plants in England and Wales was 155 hectares in 1950; this rose to 312 in 1960 and by 1966 it had become 414 hectares (Sheard, 1968). In Denmark, the area planted to ornamentals was 128 hectares in 1950, this had risen to 291 by 1960 (Link and Wolk, 1969).

Flower use is also changing. Chrysanthemums and Poinsettias, for example, which were at one time in demand only during the Christmas period have become popular throughout the year. During winter months, production is expensive in Europe. Large sums of money are spent on the construction, heating and lighting of glasshouses in order to create conditions of light, temperature and humidity which, in many instances, are very similar to the ambient conditions existing in Uganda for a large part of the year. It is estimated that approximately 17 per cent of the expenditure of a glasshouse business is on fuel (Thingholm, personal communication). In some countries, Southern Italy and Sicily, for example, glasshouse expansion is becoming increasingly difficult due to the encroachment of housing for the tourist industry in the urban areas.

The extent of the demand for selected floricultural crops and the regions where this demand exists have been investigated by the Department of Crop Science and Production and research on production techniques is in progress.

Ddungu, J.C.M. (1971). THE POTENTIAL OF FLORICULTURE IN THE DIVERSIFICATION OF THE CASH CROP ECONOMY OF UGANDA. Acta Hortic. 21, 179-182
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1971.21.29
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1971.21.29

Acta Horticulturae