Flower business booms

Kathmandu, March 21:

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

To promote and make people aware of this lucrative business of flowers, Floriculture Association Nepal (FAN) is organising Floriculture Trade Expo 2008 at Bhrikutimandap exhibition hall in Kathmandu on April 2-6.

According to FAN, the expo is a part of its annual activities to promote domestic industry and update consumers on new trend and development in the sector. “Such a national level floriculture expo every year has been able to create enthusiasm among the entrepreneurs as well as the customers,” said Loknath Gaire, vice-president of FAN.

This year’s expo will have a separate stall for orchid produced under ‘one village-one product’ programme and a special presentation on cut flower, Gaire said, adding that Nepal has gradually becoming self-reliant on these two products.

According to him, the expo will have 60 stalls showcasing more than 450 species of flowers, decorative plants, garden plants, cut flowers, seeds and saplings, machinery, fertilizer and insecticides, among others. The organisers expect 25,000 peoples to visit the expo.

He further said that cultivation of flowers or any kind of ornamental plants till a decade ago was limited within houses and was not foreseen as potential industry or business. 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 Gaire.

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.

Agro Enterprises Centre at FNCCI and Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC) are supporting to organise the Floriculture Trade expo.