A Payments Platform To Support Economic Growth

By Denis Kruger

Four years after its launch, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Tanzania are benefitting from quicker and cheaper payments through the East African Payment System (EAPS).

Currently serving a population of more than 150 million people – and with Burundi soon to go live on the platform – what are the driving forces behind EAPS and what impact is it having on the region? 

Lack of shared rules and regulations, cross border trade tariffs and lack of infrastructure remain major barriers to economic growth in Africa. According to the World Bank, the African market remains highly fragmented, which limits the movement of goods, services and people across borders.

The United National Economic Commission for Africa has also recently highlighted the need to boost intra-African trade to deliver development across the continent and speed up Africa’s economic transformation. 

African payments, via international banks 

While the transport of goods and services is critical for Africa’s development, enabling the movement of capitalto support trade and development within Africa is equallyimportant.

According to SWIFT data, only 12.8% of commercial payments from Africa went directly to other African countries, even though the final destination of more than 20% of these payments was within the continent.

A large proportion was settled internationally, including 37.2% in the United States. This international financial intermediation is costly, and takes time. 

Pan-regional payment systems operating within harmonised legal and regulatory frameworks of regional economic areas will make intra-regional payments easier, faster and cheaper. This will help to increase cross-border trade within regional communities such as the East African Community (EAC) or the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

Competitive local payment services will alsohelp to reduce the need for international financial intermediation thereby keeping African transactions within Africa. It will also help to increase access to financial services. Looking beyond high value transactions, the addition of low value intra-regional payments could also extend benefits to consumersby enabling the creation of new products and services that could increase financial inclusion. 

Policy makers have recognised the role that payment systems and other infrastructures play in fostering and deepening economic development; therefore, over the last 5 years, many African countries have invested in their financial market infrastructures (FMIs). The World Bank too has prioritised the development of payment systems as a crucial component of its work to reduce poverty and boost prosperity. 

Several pan-regional payment systems already exist, including SIRESS in SADC,which went live with the first four SADC countries in 2013, and the East African Payment System (EAPS), which was established by the EAC also in 2013. 

Focus on East Africa

The EAC, which includes Uganda, Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi, was established to strengthen economic, political, social and cultural integration in order to improve the quality of life of people in East Africa. TheEAC intends to realise thisby increasing competitiveness within the region, creating value-added products, and boosting trade and investment. 

To help achieve these ambitions, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda implemented the multicurrency regional payment system, EAPS, which links the domestic payment systems in each country. This makes cross-border fund transfers much easier within the Community, supporting the free movement of goods, labour and services. 

The EAPS platform, launched in November 2013, is underpinned by the high value payment systems at each country’s Central Bank (called real time gross settlement systems)which operate on the SWIFT messaging network for safe and secure delivery of payment and settlement messages.

It enables banks to make or receive cross-border payments seamlessly in their respective local currencies. A key aim was to reduce the cost of financial transactions, which would in turn help to increase the trade flows that are critical for economic growth.  

Over the last four years, the members of EAPS have reaped several benefits from using the platform. 

The system supports all member currencies and simplifies the process of transferring funds cross-border by reducing commission and other charges. For example, previously when a Kenyan bank wanted to send funds to a bank in Tanzania, it would need to change Kenyan shillings into dollars via a foreign intermediary bank, and then into Tanzanian shillings on the other side. EAPS removes this step, allowing direct currency exchange, therefore lowering the cost of doing business across the region. 

Transaction times havealso been significantlyreduced. While a payment used to take up to two days, it can now take place in only a few hours. By using SWIFT, EAPS also benefits from the highest levels of security, resiliency, standardisation and automation. 

The ambition for EAPS is that it will be the platform of the future, enhancing efficiency, continuing to reduce settlement times and lower transaction costs, therebyencouraging greater levels of trade within the region and furthering economic growth. 

Currently four countries are connected to EAPS, andBurundi is scheduled to join the platform later this year. The realisation of such a large regional economic bloc has great strategic and geopolitical significance. Encompassing some of the most vibrant economies in Africa with a combined population of more than 150 million people, a land area of 1.82 million square kilometres and a combined gross domestic product of $146bn, EAPS will play a key role in boosting the economies of the East Africa region.

By Denis Kruger, Head of Sub-Sahara Africa, SWIFT

 

 

 

Ruparelia Group Adds Another Skyscraper Into Kampala’s Skyline

Sudhir Ruparelia's plans to modernize Kampala City, also the capital of Uganda, are taking shape after he added another modern commercial building downtown Kampala Businesss Area last weekend.

Under his Crane Management Services (CMS), a leading Real Estate company in Kampala, and a subsidiary of the Ruparelia Group of Companies, the businessman launched Market Plaza.

Market Plaza is situated between Royal complex and Energy Center buildings on plot 16B on Market Street. The state-of-the-art plaza has 12 floor decorated the skyline of Kampala City. According to the owners it will be majorly hosting business selling electronics equipment.

The newly constructed building has 2 passenger lifts, 2 car lifts, 6 floors of shop spaces and 3 floors of office space. It also has a parking space of more than 100 cars. Market Plaza has 250 shops, 110 offices, and a parking space for over 100 cars.

 “This is part of our program for modernizing Kampala and the buildings in the city. We are also availing more jobs for more people and space to do business,” Sudhir Ruparelia said. He revealed that more than 500 jobs will be created and in the end get more people off the streets.

Fresh Dairy Supports Dairy Farmers To Boost Production Of Milk

Fresh Dairy hosted over 370 Dairy farmers to its third Farmer’s Field Day held on Friday, 29th September 2017 in Sembabule District, that was aimed at showcasing to the farmers various modern ways in which to boost dairy production from their livestock.

Fresh Dairy, the leading producers of Fresh milk, UHT long life milk, Instant powder milk, Long life milk, Yoghurt, Ghee, Butter and Cream in Uganda currently work with 25,000 farmers mainly in Central and South Western Uganda from whom they source milk daily. Currently, Fresh Dairy handles 600,000 litres of milk every day.

John Gethi, Director Milk Procurement – Brookside Limited, the producers of Fresh Dairy products called upon all farmers present at the Farmer’s Field Day event to take home a new idea and practice it on their respective farms, while maintaining best farm practices. He further cautioned service providers to maintain quality while supplying inputs to livestock farmers.

The Guest of Honour was Hon. Theodore Sekikubo - Lwemiyaga Member of Parliament who represented State Minister for Agriculture Hon. Joy Kabasi.

Mr Gethi further said, ‘Fresh Dairy benefits from volumes because of increased demand for raw milk production.’ Fresh Dairy not only links its farmers to stakeholders with in the Dairy sector, but also offers them training services for better product enhancement measures such as veterinary services, cattle feeding, breeding, disease control, proper record keeping, financial and banking facilities, insurance and alternative energy sources such as Solar among others. Fresh Dairy also avails farmers with milk quality testing equipment, Aluminium milk cans and pails which have increased their clean milk production.   

As part of the event, a raffle draw was held where Farmers took home various Dairy-related prizes to include: A Cow won by George Kugumaho, Grass cutter won by Kwikirizi Steven who is a farmer based in Sembabule District, Milking buckets and Cans among others.

Fresh Dairy pledges to continue holding more Farmer’s Field Days that are open to all farmers, with the next one scheduled to take place in Ngoma – Nakaseke District.

Farmers In Tororo Benefit From Collective Farming

Over 4700 farmers in Tororo are harvesting the benefits of practicing modern faming technologies as well as collective farming. The farmers, under various Farmers Based Organizations (FBO) in Tororo say that they are now harvesting increased crop yields from their farms. 

According to Aterensio Otwani, the Chairperson Nyalakot Farmers Group, one of the 156 FBOs in Tororo, the farmers are now using modern farming technologies that has led to increased and quality crop yields. 

The farmers group located in Osukuru Sub county, Tororo district, has 35 acres of maize, rice, soybeans and groundnuts collectively.  “We now know how to space our seedlings while planting, how to spray and best post-harvest handling to prevent aflatoxin contamination,” notes Otwani. 

Sasakawa Global 2000, a farmer support organisation working with government to improve farming practices has been training the farmers on best farming practices. According to Rosette Kemigisha Ngingo,a program officer with Sasakawa, the organization has trained 15,000 farmers across 9 districts (Bugiri, Lira, Paalisa, Buikwe, Luwero, Kamwenge,  Kamuli and Tororo) in the country on developing strong and viable farmers groups. 

According to Jacinta Obbo, one of the farmer member of the Nyalakot Farmers Group, the training that they have been receiving from Sasakawa has enabled them expand their farming activities resulting into increased harvests thereby enabling her to earn more income. 

“I have educated my children through farming,” notes Obbo “I used to get one bag of maize from an acre of maize plantation, now I usually get between 16-20 bags from the same acre, I have learnt how to save and buy inputs like fertilizers and spray pumps which has helped me improve my crop yields.” 

The agricultural sector in Uganda contributes to 30% of GDP and is the backbone of Uganda’s industrial activity, employment, household incomes and food security. However, majority of farmers are small holder farmers. Mr Kaloli Ijara, the Sasakawa district coordinator noted that the farmers are embracing large commercial faming which has improved their livelihoods. 

“Our farmers in the past did not know how to practice large commercial farming, they used to practice mixed farming, intercropping all the crops, notes Kaloli “The harvest would be poor and in the process the soil would deteriorate, now, we practice modern farming technologies that has improved our yields.” 

Maize, rice, groundnuts and Soya are some of the crops that the various farmer’s groups in Tororo for domestic consumption as well as export to neighboring markets in Kenya.

Rural Farmers In Northern Uganda To Get Agricultural Training

In a bid to reach and train a large number of farmer’s upcountry in the Northern Region, Sasakawa Global 2000 (SG2000) recently launched a multi-purpose mobile unit, to train farmers in good agricultural practices.  

The Mobile Farmers Training Center is an agricultural extension training approach targeted at large groups of smallholder farmers to receive farming training sessions in rural areas. 

Speaking in Northern Uganda, the SG 2000 Program Officer in the region Daniel Olol, said that the truck enables the organization train farmers in audio and visual lesson on good farming practices.  He notes that most farmers do not have the capacity to test their soils, they therefore use fertilizers that their fellow farmers are using. 

“Apart from videos we also do soil tests to educate the farmers on what type of soil is in their farms, thereby, informing them of the crops to plant and the fertilizers to use.” Noted Olol. 

The mobile training center makes it easy for the organization to reach a large number of farmers while focusing on helping farmers raise their crop yields and earn better prices through improved farming techniques through the whole farming value chain. 

According to Olol one of the biggest challenges facing farmers in the Northern region is poor agricultural practices, where farmers lack proper training.

“It can be difficult to reach farmers for training, it is also costly and time consuming for farmers to travel to a training venue,” notes Olol “The Mobile Training truck helps us bring good farming practices right at the farmer’s doorstep to help them boost their yields and take care of their farms. 

The truck is expected to reach and train more than 12,000 farmers in the Northern region to aid in increasing adoption of good agricultural practices.

Beyond Access: Breaking Barriers For Women In Agriculture

By Jemimah Njuki

I first met Memory in Kasungu, in the Northern part of Malawi. Memory, a mother of six, farmed on a one acre piece of land alongside her husband. Every year, they planted maize and beans, often from seed that they had saved from the last season, or bought in the market.

The previous season however, they had been lucky. A government subsidy program had provided them with improved seed and fertilizer, they had expanded their farm and the harvest was good.

When I asked Memory, how life had changed for her and her family, her answer was not as simple as I had expected. Yes, the family had harvested more maize, more than they had ever harvested. But this had come with additional costs.

Her workload had increased, it meant she had to spend more time on the farm doing tasks that men shunned as women’s work, such as weeding and harvesting, this in addition to looking after her six children.

Her husband had sold most of the maize and beans, despite her pleas to save some of it for food in case the next season did not go well. They had quarreled, and for a few weeks, she had gone to live with her parents.

Her husband argued he was the head of the household, and he had a right to make decisions on the sale of the maize. After all, the land belonged to him, and to his father before that.

While access to inputs and technologies is important for women, Memory’s story shows us that it is equally important to address the harmful social and cultural norms that prevent women from making decisions that can improve their lives, such as owning property, land, and controlling finances.

The future of our continent depends on it. In sub-Saharan Africa, gender inequality costs us an estimated US$ 95 billion a year.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the agriculture sector, which employs 63% of economically active women. We know, for example, that if women were given the same access to productive resources such as fertilizers, machinery and information as men, they could increase yields on their farms by 20 to 30 percent.

But closing this gap in access to resources does not automatically lead to gender equality and the empowerment of women. Explicit efforts are needed to ensure that the engagement of women in agriculture delivers benefits for women. Only then will it benefit entire families, societies and economies.

First, we need to address the enormous burden of work for rural women. In developing countries in Africa and Asia women typically work between 12 to 13 hours per week more than men doing farm work, care work. In sub-Saharan Africa women spend about 40 billion hours a year collecting water.

In Tanzania alone, increasing access to water would free up women’s working hours and, if converted into paid employment, would be equivalent to 1 million new full-time jobs for women. Investments in improved agricultural technologies can also improve efficiency of household tasks and save women’s time.

A project funded by IDRC in Kenya and Uganda, developed precooked bean products that reduced cooking time for beans, a common source of protein, from 3 hours to 15 minutes saving on women’s time, water and firewood. We need more investments like this that reduce the burden of work for rural women.

Second, we need to address the gender and social norms that still determine what a woman’s place is in terms of household decision making and ownership of property.

In Kenya for example, despite a very progressive constitution that guarantees inheritance of land by sons and daughters, only one percent of land titles are held by women with another five percent held by women jointly with men.

In much of sub-Saharan Africa, a society’s perception is still that women and girls should not own land. Approaches that challenge these norms and engage men are being tested in a few places.

In Malawi and Zambia, for example, a fisheries project funded by IDRC has been using theatre to shift perceptions on women’s roles in the fisheries sector. Decision making by women on use of income has risen by 32 percentage points. Projects like these that seek to understand and tackle entrenched social norms should be replicated.

Finally, we need to invest in data and evidence on what works for empowering women in agriculture. In 2013, USAID’s Feed the Future program developed the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index.

Using this index, people working in agriculture and development can track what impact their innovations have on women’s empowerment in the sector. Such data can tell us what is working and what needs to be taken to scale.

As the agriculture community in Africa converges at the African Green Revolution Forum in Abidjan in September, I hope that we not only discuss what women can do for agriculture, but what agriculture, and we in the agriculture community can do to ensure that agriculture serves women, their families, communities and economies.

Dr Jemimah Njuki is a Senior Program Specialist at Canada’s International Development Research Centre where she manages a portfolio of agriculture and food security, and women's empowerment projects. She is an Aspen News Voices Fellow.

INTERVIEW: Solarplaza, GOGLA On Unlocking Solar Capital In Sub-Saharan Africa

Solarplaza and GOGLA recently announced the second edition of Unlocking Solar Capital (USC) Africa. After hosting last year's inaugural edition in Nairobi, Kenya, the pair will be organizing its follow-up in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

The high-level 2-day conference centered around unlocking capital for new solar project development in Africa provides an original and exclusive international platform and will take place on the 25-26th of October, 2017.

In preparation for the event, Solarplaza analyst Marco Dorothal speaks with 3 of the event's main driving forces - Lydia van Os and Adriaan van Loon of Solarplaza and Eveline Jansen of GOGLA discussing the challenges and opportunities for African solar development in the region. 

The story of 'Unlocking Solar Capital' did not start in Abidjan. Why did you choose to hold the first edition in Nairobi and what were the main lessons learnt? 

Eveline: "The unique design of the USC Africa conference characterizes how partnerships and collaboration can strengthen the solar sector: The Nairobi edition was the first investor conference to bring the off-grid industry together with on-grid and mini-grid segments of the solar sector.

While the needs and demands of the three sectors are diverse, it is vital to maintain open channels of communication in order to effectively advocate for beneficial policy environments and work together towards the shared goal of increased electricity access.

The success of this first edition was a testimony of catering to a new demand for a more holistic approach - and clear indication that there is a need to keep that momentum going."

Adriaan: "Nairobi was chosen to host the first edition of Unlocking Solar Capital because it is the business capital of East Africa. As Eveline mentioned, a truly unique factor was the unique involved mix of on and off-grid players. The fact that a lot of industry players are already established in Nairobi enabled us to grow the conference bigger than we ever imagined.

However, as a conference that aims to cover the whole continent, we learned that the best way to have both a strong international and continental presence is to move to other regions as well to be able to reach a larger and more diverse audience and address different markets." 

Lydia: "Currently, we see an extremely promising growth of the solar industry on the African continent. To increase our impact we want to be close to the developments and aim to take our international network to the local sources where opportunities arise.

We have a holistic vision regarding the joint potential of on and off-grid energy, as we think both are crucial to work towards fully electrifying African countries. To accomplish this vision we have chosen to organize the conference in Africa, for Africa." 

Now, moving on to Abidjan, what are the differences between the locations and how are you buildingon the success of the previous edition? 

Eveline: "Moving the second edition to West Africa is not only essential for a truly holistic approach to the Sub-Saharan Africa market, but also a recognition of the rapidly developing solar market in the region." 

Lydia: "This year the event is going to take place in Abidjan as we want to expand upon the success of last year, while at the same time involving more of the francophone community and investors.

Hosting the event in different markets allows us to not only bring the conference platform and our relations to exciting new regions, but also allows us to leverage the knowledge and experience of our previous editions by sharing them with regional partners and attendees." 

How did you reflect new regional developments in your program? 

Lydia: "Our program focuses on opportunities for both established as well as upcoming market players. With the Solar Incubator, which is co-organized with Phanes Group PV, smaller players in the African solar market are challenged to pitch their projects with the chance of winning mentorship and co-development facilities.

At the same time, we will host sessions that focus on utility-scale projects. For instance, we have a panel in which we'll discuss the bankability of solar projects, which is a recurring challenge, featuring leading regional experts from Standard Bank, Scatec Solar, the EU commission and Africa50."

Adriaan: "Compared to our previous event, we did see a need for more collaborations between development financial institutions (DFIs) and the private sector in order to spearhead the growth of the solar sector in the more challenging countries. Furthermore, the advancements in mini-grid technology will be represented in our 'Generations' track, focusing on bigger mini-grid projects, as well as in our 'Connections' track, which focuses purely on micro-grid developments."

How do you see the future unfolding for the African region; what are the most important things that need to be achieved in order to succeed and how will you hope that USC Africa can contribute to this? 

Eveline: "There is a clear need for greater communication and understanding between the different stakeholders in the solar sector, as well as recognizing the patterns and shared challenges in the hugely diverse individual markets. Unlocking Solar Capital Africa accelerates this process by providing opportunities for focused interaction between these stakeholders."

Adriaan: "We aim to contribute by providing people with a platform to share best practices and meet the stakeholders that you need to further your business. With the conference platform, we seek to solve Africa's solar energy funding gap by connecting financiers and developers, and having key market players share their practical experiences. Furthermore, the floor will be given to innovative startups to pitch their business models and secure financing." 

Lydia: "There is a lot of dedication among solar industry players to bring electricity to the 600 million Africans that currently do not have access to modern energy solutions. This dedication is easy to understand from both a market perspective, which is obviously very large, as from the conviction that everyone should have access to electricity and that we shouldn't burden the environment through the use of fossil fuels, while great alternatives are readily available at a competitive price point. We want Unlocking Solar Capital Africa to be the driving platform for Africa's solar revolution moving forward."

 

Policies That Have Made Delhi Public School International Excel

For students to learn effectively, schools must put in place policies that make it easy for real transfer of knowledge. This means that school administration must think outside the box to ensure this is possible because today’s learner faces different challenges from those in the past.

While some schools are struggling to cope up, others like Delhi Public School International, located at Plot 17-25, Saddler Way, Naguru, Kampala, Uganda,   are walking the talk. The school is an international school owned by the Ruparelia Group in Kampala. It also offers various international curriculums.

For effective teaching, the school has set up the following policies to guide its teaching operations. 

  • Motivating and nurturing school environment that supports and encourages lifelong learning
    • Professional and proficient teachers with a passion for education
    • Well-researched and thoughtful school curriculum, which promotes creativity, curiosity, determination, independence, self-reliance, adaptability and team work
    • Integrated Learning Approach with emphasis on experimentation, self-discovery, high level of engagement, hands-on experience and exam preparation
    • Stimulating learning environment that creates eager and active learners and nurtures their thinking, analyzing and learning capabilities. 

The implementation of such policies has seen children not only learn and develop through formal methods of teaching but also though various ways some of which include project presentations, hands-on experiences and field trips. 

“At DPS, we organize exciting experiential learning opportunities through field trips which are planned at every level for specific educational purposes. Children visit surrounding farms, interact with local communities and glimpse their culture and lifestyles. These excursions also help widen knowledge of the environment, besides expanding observational skills. 

“Through these opportunities, they are able to explore the differences and similarities in the world beyond the class boundaries in respect to their academic areas, thus adding value to their academics. 

All Classrooms at DPSI are equipped with smart boards to make learning sessions more interesting and beneficial to both the students and teachers.  

The school administrators and teachers work hand in hand to make DPSI the best international school and hold themselves responsible for the school's success. Admissions for ages 3 to 18years are open! Apply now

Admissions are ongoing. Call us on Tel:+256701525746 for more details.

Children Learn And Develop Differently, Schools Must Pay Attention To Each Child’s Need

Schools must pay very good very good attention to pupils because they learn and develop in different ways, Kampala Parents’ School administrators have. They say that ‘teachers’ must ‘know and understand this and use different teaching styles to plan work at different levels in order to meet the needs of all pupils in their class’.

“We aim at providing the highest quality learning environment for your child and for them to achieve their full potential. All our classes are supported by teaching assistants and pupils are offered additional support or catch up intervention where needed,” Daphne Kato, the Principal of Kampala Parents’ School, says of what they are doing to ensure effectiveness prevails in their school.

“We encourage our learners to strive for the best. This also includes encouraging them to enjoy learning. Part of mentoring consists of listening to pupils. By taking time to listen to what students say, our teachers impart to them a sense of ownership in the classroom. This helps build their confidence and helps them want to be success.

“At Kampala Parents’ School, we leave no stone unturned to achieve this goal by fully facilitating our pupils to become upright and useful citizens for the betterment of our country Uganda and future generations.

“All effort is made to help the children get holistic education and give them direction in their academic advancement. The academic activities are stressed knowing very well that it is the main door through which a child goes to explore the world. It is also a way of showing someone’s intellectual capabilities.

Why Discipline is important?

Daphne Kato emphasizes that discipline is a vital element in grooming pupils. “It is the key to success as evidenced by the good performance for many consecutive years and in building a wholesome all around a child, compassion, love integrity, cleanliness and above all discipline are a must. We believe that discipline is the key to success. We train our children to observe all of them,” she explains the role discipline has played in ensure school performs well consistently.

“As administration we nurture a child’s personal growth by providing a friendly and supportive environment. The school mission is “to facilitate first-class education and civilization to children with and from outside Uganda with the hope that there will be a better world community tomorrow“. 
The school anthem clearly indicates that children, teachers and parents of Kampala Parents’ School glorify the lord and their prayers ascend on high to achieve school goals and aspirations. Please invest in your child by availing us the opportunity to nurture and groom him/her at the roots. The dividends will certainly give you a big smile at the end of the day.  

Rosebud introduces Computerized Technology To Boost Farm Output

Flowers have increasing become Uganda’s biggest agricultural export with Entebbe based Rosebud Ltd contributing 40% of total flower export market. Rosebud Ltd is the country's largest exporter of roses.

Rosebud green houses on the farm cover a total of 50 hectares producing and exporting over 12 million stems per month. Now the firm is in the process of expanding up to 65 hectares of green houses for a targeted export of 15 million stems per month by 2017.

And to achieve this, Rosebud Ltd has installed a fully computerized climatic controlled propagation unit which has the capacity to produce 5 million plants per annum for commercial production.

“We make use of every drop of water by using a watering system that both mists from above and also brings water to the roots. By using a piping system delivering the water to each planter individually we can cut down on water being wasted.

These stems, due to the favorable weather conditions experienced throughout the year, result in their all being of the same high standard,” Rosebud said.

Rosebud Limited solely specializes in the production of quality cut roses for export onto the world market. The company’s objective is to achieve the highest standards of Good Agricultural Produce (GAP).

“We are continually doing research and development to conserve the environment, reduce the use of agrochemicals and improve efficiency in the use of natural resources. Our goal is to continue to co-exist with the natural environment and ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees,”

Rosebud Limited is committed to producing the best quality and longest lasting cut roses for export while still being respectful of our surroundings. It employs ongoing programs which enable them to improve the quality and expand their operation.

“Due to the favorable weather conditions, we are able to consistently produce over 12 million rose stems every month, all with the same high quality.”

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