12th floriculture fair in full bloom

Kathmandu, March 25:

“Floriculture , with its low volume, low weight but high value exportable products, has a good opportunity to establish itself in the international arena,” said Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai while inaugurating the 12th Floriculture Fair here today.

“Agriculture sector is on our priority list and floriculture is a major part of that sector, and it needs strong plans and policies,” said Bhattarai requesting floriculturists to formulate plans and forward them to the government so that these would be useful while formulating the new budget.

Floriculture Association Nepal (FAN) president Shreedhar Karki said, “We have submitted the floriculture policy draft to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and have urged the government for its timely approval so that flowers become one of the most valued export items with mass production and quality.”

According to Karki, at present about 75 per cent of floriculture products are imported from foreign countries. Karki also said the domestic floriculture industry lacks proper greenhouse materials, mother plants and other important materials for floriculture.

There are around 600 floriculture firms and nurseries spread over around 82 hectares of land in 35 districts. The floriculture sector provides employment to around 4000 households directly and indirectly and during the fiscal year 2007-08 the total floriculture export was worth Rs 24.2 million, said the association.

The five-day floriculture event has 60 stalls, with 55 business stalls and five information centres.

There are 400 different kinds of flowers on display in the fair and the organisers are expecting a turnout of around 30,000 visitors.