BEN SSEBUGUZI: Kikuubo traders should adjust like Dr. Sudhir and benefit from the UK flower deal 

The new development of suspension of the 8% duty on cut flowers in the UK  has presented great opportunity to Ugandan business men to embrace this seamless chance  of partaking of nearly $1b worth of cut flowers which are consumed per year in that country.

Much obliged  to Honary Consul of the Republic of Nepal to Uganda, Dr Sudhir Ruparelia  for having a magic hand in the development of the Floriculture business in Uganda. Given the fact that this is a new commercial business, local businesses community have not fully embraced it but mainly dominated by foreign investors with few indigenous business men like Sudhir taking centre stage with Rosebud and Premier roses which employ hundreds of Ugandans most especially women.

Over the last decade, Uganda’s total exports values to the UK have been on a decline trend from £42m in 2021 to £13.6m in 2023 which need to be rejuvenated regain our past glory .This is a wake up call to Kikuubo traders to heed to President Yoweri Kaguta advice to importers from Kikuubo to becoming wealth creators in the country but also  exporters in order to earn foreign currency which is very crucial for  social economic development of every country.

Dr. Sudhir is one of the few business men in the country who defied odds and discarded import  of wines and other  merchandise in the late 1980s  and embraced enormous opportunities in the country, including starting up insurance company called Gold star, Crane bank, Schools, hotels, flower growing  among others which have extremely  contributed to the forex exchange  earnings of the country.

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The effect  of  adieu of the UK from the EU presents incredible opportunity for Ugandan business community to emulate Sudhir and join the export of fresh flowers and vegetables which have been given unlimited access to the UK market.

If we dissect the many  benefits in the flower sector which our business men can pick interest include:building cold storage facilities, breeding flower seeds, green house farming, transportation, among others.

The government has been working to support the sectors development for several years in 2016 where VAT exemptions where introduced and importation tax on green houses removed to spur growth in the industry. The move of allowing to defer tax to growers for 10 years also  continues to attract profitability in the sector.

With the abundant  fertile soils and conducive weather continues   to project Uganda the best country in attracting  FDI in the flower sector on the continent and most probably over taking   Ethiopia and Kenya who are the giants.

The writer is the Head of Research Office of the National Chairman



The post BEN SSEBUGUZI: Kikuubo traders should adjust like Dr. Sudhir and benefit from the UK flower deal  appeared first on Watchdog Uganda.


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