Country gains self-sufficiency in marigold: flower trade declining
Kathmandu : The country is becoming self-reliant in marigold in recent years. Last year 2.5 garlands of marigold were sold during the Tihar festival when the demand for marigold garlands is high. This year, however, the demand was only for 1.5 million garlands.
Around 300 thousand garlands of marigold used to be brought from India to meet the demand during Tihar. There is high demand for marigold, globe amaranth and chrysanthemum during the Tihar time.
This year people grew flowers on commercial scale, the production was also good but the flowers did not get the market.
It is said 95 percent of flowers are produced in the country and only five per cent is imported from India.
Flower trade has still not picked up momentum due to the risk of coronavirus infection. Although various other sectors of the economy have gradually started operating amidst the COVID-19 risk, flower trade has not caught momentum.
The flower trade could not flourish this year as programmes and functions are not taking place amid COVID-19 risk, the purchasing power of people has decreased and the auspicious days for wedding have also started drawing to conclusion.
Although temples and places of worship have opened of late, the hotels and tourism sector has not fully come into operation and the flower trade has been also affected by this, Floriculture Association of Nepal’s president Kumar Kasajoo Shrestha.
Transaction of flowers was Rs 3.5 million daily before the onset of the pandemic. It slumped to only Rs 500 thousand at present.
The annual flower transaction was in the range of Rs 2.42 billion in the previous years. Although flower transaction was estimated around Rs 3 billion in the current fiscal year, it will be far less due to the impact of coronavirus.
Nepal annually imports flowers worth Rs 110 million from third countries during Tihar and other seasons.
Flowers of 450 species have are grown in Nepal for commercial purpose. More than 41 thousand people are directly or indirectly benefitted from the flower cultivation and trade.
Seven hundred entrepreneurs are cultivating flowers in around 157 hectares land in Nepal. Six hundred and seventy-five floriculture farms and nurseries are in operation in 41 districts, especially in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kaski, Chitwan, Makawanpur, Kavrepalanchok, Gulmi, Palpa, Dhading, Morang, among other districts, with the growing demand of flowers in recent years.
Floriculture business started in Nepal in 2007 BS and it has been expanding with increasing urbanization. Three hundred entrepreneurs are engaged in flower cultivation and trade in Kathmandu Valley alone.