Print Edition - 2015-03-21 | MONEY
Flower power reaches new heights in Nepal
Mar 20, 2015-
Domestic production of flowers has been on the rise in recent years which has helped to further import substitution.
According to the Floriculture Association of Nepal (Fan), commercial flower production in the last fiscal year was worth Rs 1.27 billion, representing a rise of 10.43 percent compared to the previous fiscal.
The swelling production led to imports being cut by 11.1 percent to Rs 40 million in the last fiscal year.
“As floriculture production has been growing 20-25 percent annually, more than 85 percent of the total demand is being fulfilled by domestic products,” said Loknath Gaire, president of Fan.
“We have to import roses for Valentine’s Day and marigolds for Tihar from India, but the requirement of many other types of flowers is being fulfilled by domestic producers.”
He added that the floriculture business had been gaining popularity in many regions of the country. “More and more people are turning to floriculture as they see better returns and it can be started with a comparatively small investment,” said Gaire.
There are around 675 flower nurseries spread over 141 hectares in 38 districts, according to the association. A total of 41,000 people are directly and indirectly involved in this business which has an investment of Rs4.5 billion. The country exported flowers worth Rs30 million in the last fiscal year.
The production of seasonal flowers amounted to Rs216.8 million last year. Decorative flowers worth Rs381.5 million, cut flowers worth Rs204.5 million and landscape and gardening flowers valued at Rs170.4 million were also produced.
Meanwhile, Fan will be organising Flora Expo 2015 at Bhrikuti Mandap from Saturday to promote the domestic flower business. The four-day event will have 65 stalls showcasing more than 450 species of flowers and 10 stalls offering varied information.
The flowers on display will include seasonal and decorative flowers, cut flowers, dried flowers and orchids, among others. The expo will feature various demonstrations of the flower arts, agricultural equipment and garden tools, house plants, biological pesticides and planting materials for professional farming.
Kumar Kasaju Shrestha, coordinator of the fair, said that the expo would provide a common platform for flower growers, traders and customers. “As many exhibitors will be demonstrating the latest technologies in the flower sector, people wanting to go into floriculture will also benefit from the expo,” he added.
Published: 21-03-2015 07:16