A delegation from Bella Flowers, Oxfam Rwanda, and Bright Harvest, as well as DUHAMIC-ADRI, a promoter of small farmer cooperatives, is attending the event to enhance the visibility of Rwandan flowers in the market and expand their customer base.
Ms. Janet Basiima, the Division Manager of Export Markets Development & Innovation at the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), stated that IFTF 2023 presents an opportunity for Rwanda to establish market connections with international buyers.
"We aim to raise awareness of the ’Rwanda Fresh’ brand on a global scale, thus increasing the market share of Rwandan flowers worldwide," she revealed.
Ms. Maria Casimiro, the Marketing Manager of Bella Flowers, mentioned that their participation in IFTF 2023 is geared towards reaching out to new clients from various regions, particularly European and Asian countries.
"We aspire to engage with new buyers from Europe, as well as expressing interest in Japan and Korea," she noted.
On the other hand, Mr. Janvier Ugeziwe, a representative from DUHAMIC-ADRI focusing on small-scale summer flowers, expressed that their involvement in IFTF 2023 will provide them with the opportunity to gain insights into increasing production and accessing markets for summer flowers and replicate this in Rwanda.
Ann Karemera, the Managing Director of Bright Harvest Company, also revealed that her company chose to participate with the goal of showcasing their flower varieties.
She emphasized that the exhibition holds promise in enhancing the international visibility of Rwandan flowers by facilitating interactions with buyers to understand market trends and dynamics in the floriculture value chain.
Godfrey Gakwandi from Oxfam stated that the organization’s support for flower exporters’ participation is aimed at increasing the visibility of Rwanda’s quality flowers and, more importantly, facilitating sustainable market linkages for Rwanda’s industry worldwide.
He expressed gratitude to the European Union (EU) for supporting Rwanda’s floriculture industry through the "sustainable livelihoods in horticulture value chains project," which financed this year’s participation.
Rwanda’s stand showcases various varieties of roses and summer flowers.
According to Rwanda’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Olivier J.P. Nduhungirehe, Rwanda’s stand was exceptionally popular on the first day, with many visitors flocking to see the wide array of flowers.
Amb. Nduhungirehe is optimistic that Rwanda’s representation at the trade fair in will significantly boost sales of Rwandan flowers through diversified markets.
"We firmly believe that the floriculture industry, which we embarked on less than a decade ago, will continue to flourish. As we grow, the demand for flowers is increasing, making it vital to expand our business, especially as we are still importing seeds from other countries. It’s crucial for the government to establish research mechanisms to develop our seed production, facilitating growth and self-sufficiency," he stated.
"We anticipate more visitors to our booth, and we hope that following this expo, the government and the private sector can collaborate to strategize and further enhance our business," added Amb. Nduhungirehe.
More than 120 nationalities are represented at the exhibition.
NAEB’s figures on Rwandan floriculture indicate that a total of 23,678,585 stems of rose flowers and 8,881,404 stems of summer flowers were exported during the financial year 2022-2023 and generated US$4,535,223.
A significant 98% of Rwandan flowers are primarily sold to the Netherlands, with potential markets emerging in Australia and the United Kingdom.