Flower market in full bloom this Tihar

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Flower market in full bloom this Tihar

Oct 26, 2014-

Valley flower traders saw a 17 percent growth in transactions during the Tihar festival, they have said. According to the Floriculture Association of Nepal (FAN), around 700,000 garlands and bunches of flowers worth Rs 50 million were sold in the Kathmandu valley during the five-day festival. Among them, 250,000 marigold garlands were imported from India.

“The sales amounted to Rs 42.5 million last year,” said Loknath Gaire, president of FAN. “Apart from increased demand, the rise in the price of marigold flower contributed to the growth.”

A marigold garland was sold at Rs 50-60 in the retail market this year, against Rs 40-45 last year. Gaire said the marigold flower became expensive due to low supply from domestic growers and price hike in the Indian market.

“This year, Tihar occurred two weeks earlier than last year, and marigold flowers are yet to flourish. That’s why the market faced short supply,” he said, adding the price rise in India was due to heavy rains that affected the buds.

However, the price of Globe Amarnath (Makhmal) was stable at Rs 25-30 per garland. “Many people switched to Globe Amarnath from Marigold, but increased production in the country ensured smooth supply,” said Gaire.

Marigold and Globe Amarnath are the most sought-after flowers in Tihar, when Hindu people worship dog, crow, goddess Laxmi and govardan by offering flowers. Similarly, sisters offer flower garlands to brothers on Bhai Tika.

Bade said 40 percent of the total demand for marigold flowers was fulfilled by Indian imports, but the country is self-sufficient in Globe Amarnath and Chrysanthemum.

FAN General Secretary Dilip Bade said despite a growing number of people engaged in floriculture, they seemed least interested in marigold. “Farmers are not focusing on what is in demand. Because of this, we have been facing shortage of marigold every year,” said Bade. Tihar is the busiest time of the year for florists, when 40 percent of the total business happens. With an investment of Rs 4.5 billion, around 41,000 people are directly or indirectly involved in floriculture.

According to the association, there are around 650 flower farms and nurseries (a combined 137 hectares) in 38 districts across the country.

Published: 27-10-2014 09:26

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