Jhapa, September 15 Local farmers in Jhapa are attracted towards commercial marigold farming of late. The farmers started professional marigold farming after the demand of marigold flower increased. Farmers brought the seeds of the marigold flowers from India. Farmers in Arjundhara, Bhadrapur, Mechinagar, Birtamod and Gauradaha, among other places, have cultivated marigold in more than 20 bigahas of land. Farmers said marigold produced in the district could meet the demand during the upcoming Tihar festival. Khagindra Khushi at Bhadrapur-7 has taken two bigahas of land on lease for marigold farming. Dikshya Uprety of Mechinagar-9 has also started marigold farming in 10 kattha land. She said flower farming was a good alternative for Nepali women to become self-employed. “I have also started lemon and papaya farming, along with marigold,” she added. She added that she had sold 35,000 saplings of marigold to new farmers. Women Entrepreneurs Union, Jhapa, has also taken one bigaha land on lease to cultivate saplings of marigold in Birtamod-1 and Bhadrapur-8. Chair of the union Goma Bhattarai said they had already received demand orders for the flower. Bhattarai said around one lakh saplings were sold to interested individuals and groups. Another farmer at Birtamod-9, Dal Bahadur Adhikari, said he had started marigold farming after construction of four modern tunnels. He said unseasonal flowers were planted in five kattha land. He is planning to grow more flowers for upcoming Dashain,Tihar and Chhath festivals. Meanwhile, Chief Administrative Officer Pashupati Khatiwada of Birtamod Municipality said the municipality had provided Rs 50,000 to the union to buy samplings and also for training the farmers. Birtamod Chambers of Commerce and Industry chair Kumar Bhattarai said Jhapa was capable enough to produce flowers to meet the domestic demand.