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Uganda: Kalanchoë propagation

General information
Project location: Kampala, Uganda
Consortium: KP Holland Selectie B.V., Xclusive Cuttings Uganda Ltd, StrijbisVerbeek Plants B.V., Kwekerij van Eijzeren B.V.
Project Budget: Euro 805,000
External financing: 60% grant funding by PSOM
Project period: July 2008 – June 2010

KP Holland and StrijbisVerbeek breed, propagate and produce Kalanchoë pot plants in the Netherlands. As the labour-intensive propagation can no longer be competitively undertaken in the Netherlands, the two companies have joined forces to establish the propagation of Kalanchoë abroad. They have engaged an experienced Dutch grower, Kwekekerij van Eijzeren, to identify a suitable location and partner in Africa and, once established, oversee the overseas propagation operations. Although the humid climate and logistics create particular challenges, the availability of a reliable local partner and the prospect of a rapid start-up were important reasons for the Dutch consortium to choose for Uganda, where they selected Xclusive Cuttings Uganda Limited as their future partner.

The Dutch consortium and Xclusive Cuttings will set up a new business venture with the objective to realise the first Kalanchoë propagation in Uganda; indeed, with one exception in South Africa, there is no propagation anywhere in Africa of the delicate Kalanchoë. The project partners will invest a modern propagation facility, dedicated to the production of Kalanchoë cuttings, comprising a climate controlled greenhouse, fertilising unit and recirculation system, cold store, packing room and office. To maximise climate control, the greenhouse will be fitted with a modern climate computer that directs automated vents (with insect screens), sun screens, an overhead and drip irrigation system, and a low-volume mist (LVM) system. The LVM system doubles as automated plant protection system that is very efficient in the use of chemicals and, used at night, will minimise (unhealthy) manual spraying. A cyclical assimilation light system using energy saving bulbs (consuming 68% less energy than conventional bulbs) will be installed

The project partners will be planting and growing Kalanchoë mother plants on substrate and a small section will be planted with new varieties to test their performance under local conditions before reproducing them on a commercial scale. Trials will be conducted to root cuttings in trays with plugs and ship rooted cuttings to the Netherlands, which would permit automated planting and save growers 2-3 weeks in precious growing time and greenhouse space. If successful, this is a genuine innovation in Kalanchoë growing.

A social-medical centre will be set up comprising a day care, clinic, training centre, library, computer room, and area for leisure activities. In total 35 staff will be recruited and trained by the Joint Venture. As soon as the company has achieved MPS-GAP and MPS-SQ, the Joint Venture will be registered as participant in the Fair Flowers Fair Plants. The project partners aim to achieve MPS-Florimark certification to evidence the Joint Venture’s commitment to high standards of environmental and social responsibility. The end of the project will be marked by the issuance of this MPS-Florimark certificate, which will take at least one full year of consecutive registration and four audits for by an independent certifier. It should be noted that till date no company in Africa has obtained MPS-Florimark certification.

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