Marigold farmers worried about early bloom
Pokhara, November 1
Marigold flowers are in full bloom in Kaski. However, this has left the florists of the district worried.
Marigold farmers are fretting as they will have to bear a big loss if they cannot preserve the flowers till Tihar. “The flowers will not wilt for a week. But, it is still more than a week for Tihar to begin,” said florist Basant Baniya of Pokhara.
Farmers have been attracted towards flower farming of late in the district. Lack of technical assistance, however, is hitting the florists very hard.
Baniya complained that farmers had not received the opportunity to take training at home and abroad as government employees went to such trainings bypassing the florists. He said farmers had suffered a lot due to lack of knowledge on well-managed tunnel, and planting the flower as per the calendar.
Farmers are cultivating flowers professionally in Pokhara and its adjoining areas such as Lamachaur, Hemja, Bharatpokhari, Sisuwa, Batulechaur, among other places. Some agriculture cooperatives too have started flower cultivation professionally since last year.
According to Floriculture Association Nepal Kaski Chair Sitamaya Rana, flowers worth over Rs 10 million, including marigold and makhmali are traded during Tihar in Pokhara alone. “The local production of the flowers meets just 50 per cent of the total demand. Fifty per cent flower is imported from India,” she added.