Floriculture fair in offing

Kathmandu, March 28:

Floriculture Association Nepal (FAN) is going to organise a five-day long grand flower exhibition at the Bhrikuti Mandap exhibition hall on April 2-6.

Shreedhar Karki, president of the Association, said that the fair will have a total of 62 stalls. “The exhibition will see a transaction of around two to three million rupees,” he said addressing a press conference in the valley today.

“We have been organising this fair with an objective of promoting the floriculture business in Nepal,” he said, adding that people have invested more than Rs 50 million in this business.

“To meet the increasing demand of the flowers as it is increasing by 10-15 per cent yearly the businessmen have to invest more and more,” he added. “We still need more investment in this sector.”

Similarly, Lok Nath Gaire, co-ordinator for the fair urged the government to come up with an Act to further promote this business. “Though the floriculture business is taking a lot of market, in absence of any Act, the money invested in this business is not secured,” he said. “Businessmen need security of their investment,” he said, “which we don’t have.”

since Nepal is slowly becoming self-reliant in floriculture business, this year’s expo will have more stalls for different varieties of flowers. The expo is a part of FAN’s annual activities to promote domestic industry and update consumers on new trend and development in the sector.

Till five years ago, Nepal was a net importer of many types of flowers and floriculture products but the scenario has changed today and country has established itself as a floriculture exporter, he added.

According to FAN, the volume of floriculture business in Nepal is growing at an average rate of 10-15 per cent a year. The commercial floriculture has now been expanded to more than 34 districts with over 600 nurseries covering 85 hectares of land. Today, the sector alone employs more than 2,500 people with more than 60 per cent women.

The total annual sales volume of floriculture and related business crossed Rs 250 million in 2006-07 from a mere Rs 50-60 million a decade ago. Of the total business, the exports of floriculture and related products constitute more than 20 per cent, which is growing rapidly for the last couple of years.

Till five years ago, Nepal used to import 80-90 per cent of total cut-flowers consumed in the domestic market. But it is completely otherway round today as Nepal’s production has already substituted imports substantially, according to FAN.

Although Nepal started exporting floral products just few years back, its reach has gone up from India to USA, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Australia, Taiwan, Italy, Germany and some Gulf countries also. However, the exporting items are limited such as bulbs, tissue culture plants, cut flowers and ornamental plants.

The organisers expect 25,000 peoples to visit the expo.