HIMALAYAN NEW SERVICE
Kathmandu, November 1
Price of different varieties of flowers is expected to rise this Tihar owing to increased production cost, as per florists.
Officials of the Floriculture Association of Nepal (FAN) — the umbrella organisation representing Nepali florists — have said that popular flowers during Tihar like marigold and globe amaranth will be dearer by almost 15 per cent this year owing to the rise in increased labour cost and rental charges of land, among other reasons.
During Tihar last year, a garland of marigold was available at an average of Rs 100 depending on the size.
“The production cost of flowers has soared this year owing to the rise in labour cost and land rental fees. This will hit flower price slightly this Tihar,” informed Kumar Kasaju Shrestha, president of FAN.
Florists import flowers from India especially during Tihar, he said, adding that since flowers have become dearer in the Indian market the cost of flowers in Nepal too will rise.
Though the production of flowers in the country is increasing every year, FAN officials said that the market is compelled to import flowers and garlands from India during Tihar as the domestic production is insufficient to cater to the festive demand of flowers.
However, Nepal only imports marigold from India during Tihar while the country is self-sustained in globe amaranth, as per Shrestha.
FAN has said that during this Tihar in Kathmandu Valley, there will be demand for around 1.5 million units of marigold garlands and 700,000 units of globe amaranth garlands. “This year, florists plan to import around 300,000 units of marigold garlands from India while the domestic demand will cater to the remaining demand of the flower during Tihar,” informed Shrestha.
Florists have stressed on the need to increase subsidy in the floriculture sector by the government and encourage commercial farming of flowers. “Though the government has been prioritising the floriculture industry inrecent years, more focus has to be given to encourage commercial floriculture business,” said Shrestha, adding that the country will be self-sustained in flower demand within a few years.
As per the statistics maintained by the Floriculture Association of Nepal, floriculture business is carried out across 42 districts in Nepal on three million hectares of land.
The sector, which has investments of more than Rs five billion, has been giving employment opportunities to more than 43,000 people, according to FAN.
A version of this article appears in print on November 02, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.