The chief executive of Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) is led a delegation from the Board on a visit to the Cycad Village in Kitagwenda district, Western Uganda to review and assess opportunities for product development of one of the world’s prehistoric species.
The group visited from September 11 to 13 and was accompanied by journalists.
The move comes as one of the steps being taken by UTB to promote product development and diversification of Uganda’s tourism offerings.
Edward Charlton, a cycad expert from the United Kingdom will be in the country to share among other things the knowledge and research on cycad and community tourism.
Charlton will also conduct training of communities in development of cycad gardens and preservation of the species.
According to experts, the prehistoric species has the potential to rake in millions of dollars for the tourism sector.
Cycads are seed plants with a long fossil history that were formerly more abundant and more diverse than they are today.
They typically have a stout and woody (ligneous) trunk with a crown of large, hard and stiff, evergreen leaves.
They usually have pinnate leaves and vary in size from having trunks only a few centimeters to several meters tall. Cycads typically grow very slowly and live very long, with some specimens known to be as much as 1,000 years old.
Because of their superficial resemblance, they are sometimes mistaken for palms or ferns, but they are not closely related to either group.