My Republica, October 14, 2019
KATHMANDU: Nepal is gradually becoming self-reliant on flowers, thanks to the rise in domestic production of flowers.
The import of flowers from India during the festivals has been witnessing a steady slump as a result of increasing production of flowers in the country. Around 300,000 garlands of marigolds worth Rs 3 million were brought from India last year during Tihar festival. Around 80 per cent of the demand of flowers in Nepal was met by domestic production while the rest was met with the imports from India.
This year, 93 per cent of the demand of flowers in Nepal is expected to be met by domestic production while only seven per cent of whatever amount of demand for flowers will be consumed in the festival will be imported from India, according to the Floriculture Association Nepal (FAN).
FAN President Kumar Kasaju Shrestha shared that Nepal has been witnessing a surge of 10 to15 per cent in flower production annually, which is paving a path for Nepal to become gradually self-reliant on flowers.
The business of flower in Nepal and abroad amounts to Rs 1.85 billion annually. Flowers like marigold and Makhamali (Globe Amaranth) is imported to Nepal from India a week prior to Tihar festival. Around 60 per cent of the marigold and Makhamali garlands have been consumed in Kathmandu Valley, as per the FAN.
The import of flowers during festivals and other occasions to Nepal amounts to Rs 110 million annually. The usage of flowers is mostly during the wedding seasons besides festivals.
Marigold and Makhamali flowers are produced abundantly in Nepal, boasted Shrestha, adding that lately these flowers have been imported to the countries with dense Nepali population such as Malaysia and Australia. Flowers of 450 kinds have been commercially produced in Nepal.
Floriculture and horticulture have directly and indirectly generated more than 41,000 jobs in the country. More than 700 florists have been registered in the Association who are involved in flower production across 157 hectares of land throughout the country. Floriculture has been done in 41 districts including Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kaski and Chitwan among others.