Nurseries fail to cash in on rising demand for flowers

Kathmandu, November 8:

Notwithstanding the burgeoning demand for flowers like sayapatri (mari-gold) and makhamali during Tihar, nursery owners here have not bothered to cultivate more of these flowers because the demand for these flowers soars and dips within days.

The demand for marigold rises during Tihar, the festival of lights and flowers. The Hindus garland pictures and idols of goddess Laxmi and dogs and cows with garlands made of sayapatri. These garlands are also used to decorate hotels, restaurants and various organisations.

Loknath Gaira, vice-president of the Floriculture Association of Nepal (FAN), told this daily, “Nurseries produce around 8,000 garlands of marigold every month.” “We don’t have any special target for Tihar.”

“Except for Tihar, there is no market for sayapatri and makhamali flowers. That is why we do not go for cultivation of these flowers in a big way. If the flowers are not sold during the five days of Tihar, money invested in the cultivation of these flowers is gone, he said.

“Though we were aware of high demand for sayapatri during Tihar, we could not invest in the cultivation of this flower,” he said, adding, “Moreover, we cannot export these flowers to foreign countries.”

“Rather, we can make money through the sale of cut-flowers that sell throughout the year.”

Lots of flowers are imported in the Kathmandu valley from India to meet the burgeoning demands for flowers during Tihar.

People from adjoining districts like Kavre, Banepa and Dhading also bring in flowers to the valley to make money.

According to flower vendors alongside the street in New Road, Nepali flowers decay soon, while flowers imported last long.

Though the imported flowers are expensive, they are more in demand because they last long, the flower vendors said.

Gajendra Thapa, a flower vendor in New Road, said the consumers prefer Indian marigold because it lasts longer.

Nikita Pradhan, marketing executive of Clover Flower Shop, said the demand for flowers is higher this time compared to last year. “Our regular customers have already booked the flowers for Tihar,” she said.

The highest quantum of flowers is sold on the day of Laxmi Puja, she said. “More people go for Indian flowers because they last longer and are uniform in size,” she said.