Rwanda again participated in The Netherlands’ International Floriculture Trade fair (IFTF) that was scheduled for 6th – 8th November 2019. This 10th edition of this flowers expo was an additional value to other efforts that enlightened Rwandan floriculture sector at the platform of international flower trades.
A delegation of two Rwandan flower growing companies (Bella Flowers and Bloom Hills) accompanied by the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) person in charge of Export Market Development and Innovation attended this event, in a bid to attract promising flower investors to venture in Rwandan flower business.
Ms. Cynthia UWACU, the representative of NAEB at IFTF 2019 said that the Expo is an opportunity for the Rwandan delegation to create international market linkages between Rwandan roses and summer flowers producers and international buyers. “We are here to create awareness of the ‘Rwandafresh’ brand on the global market thus to mobilise more foreign investors willing to invest in the Rwanda floriculture value chain,” she confirmed.
The attendance of the Rwandan delegates in the IFTF was also an opportunity to draw lessons about “flower branding and tourism” from the Netherlands and replicate in Rwanda. The delegates’ participation in the IFTF 2019 were guided by the vision “Enhanced Sales through Flower Branding and Tourism”. This was a double edged agenda to attain a target of US $140 million by 2020.
Mr. Shungo Harada, the Managing Director of Bloom Hills Company added that they chose to participate with an aim to interact with buyers, learn about prevailing market trends and understand the dynamics in the floriculture auction market.
The outcome of Rwandan delegates’ attendance to the IFTF has greatly influenced sales of Rwandan flowers through the Netherlands flower auction market. The IFTF experience has also oriented the companies to improve their production area. The floriculture sector in Rwanda grew to become one of business deals attracting new investors due to market opportunities of the cash crop.
The current production acreage of flowers in Rwanda is targeting to be expanded to more 30 ha very soon. This why to sustain the projected increase in production will require equal initiatives in creating market links through the Netherlands market and flower hub.
According to the statistical report of 2018-2019 on performance of Rwandan agri-exports sector, a total volume of 37,343 metric tons of horticultural produce were exported to international markets earning USD 27,174,785. Of these revenues, 11.6% is a value of flowers.
The Netherlands is a major buyer (98%) of Rwandan flowers through Brussels with Australia (2%) emerging as another potential market. This is one of end results from a well-known emerged relationship between two countries (Rwanda and The Netherlands) since some years back.