Kathmandu, October 12
Along with the increase in domestic production in the past few years, Nepal is on the verge of being self-sustained in flowers in the recent future.
Florists have said that almost 80 per cent of demand of flowers in Nepal is met by domestic production, while the rest is met with imports from India. They also said that the country will be self-reliant in flowers within next two years.
“Floriculture business has been getting popular in the recent years and the production of different variety of flowers has been increasing. With the government and private sector jointly promoting floriculture in the country, Nepal will soon substitute flower imports,” said Dilip Bade, senior vice-president of Floriculture Association of Nepal (FAN) — the umbrella organisation representing Nepal’s floriculture businesses.
According to FAN, Nepal is currently importing some seasonal cut flowers like roses and marigolds for occasions like Valentines’ Day and Tihar festival, while the country is already self-sustained in flowers like globe amaranth and chrysanthemum.
However, the country still has to rely on Indian imports for marigolds, which are in high demand during Tihar festival.
Basically used to decorate houses during Tihar, the domestic market demands over one million garlands of marigold during Tihar, as per Bade.
He informed that the domestic market would consume almost 110,000 marigold garlands during Tihar this year, and traders are importing 300,000 garlands of marigold from India.
However, florists have said Nepal can be fully self-sustained in flowers within next two years if the government brings promotional packages to boost floriculture business in Nepal.
Informing that floriculture is currently done on more than 150 hectares of land across the country, Bade said that the government should promote commercial floriculture to substitute flower imports.
Meanwhile, florists have said that price of flowers during Tihar this year will remain in the periphery of retail price of flowers during last year’s Tihar. Florists had sold marigolds at an average price of Rs 60 per garland last year. Similarly, globe amaranth and chrysanthemum were retailed at an average price of Rs 40 per garland and 120 per garland, respectively, during last year’s Tihar.
A version of this article appears in print on October 13, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.