KATHMANDU, Oct 16: The production of flowers is increasing in Nepal of late, and 88% of the local demand is met by local production. With rising production, import is decreasing.
Nepal will import 200,000 flower garlands this year for Tihar festivals, while last year the country imported 300,000 garlands.
Nepal has capacity to produce flowers to prepare 2.5 million garlands for the festive seasons. The price of a garland will be Rs 60-Rs 100 in the market depending on flower quality and garland size.
According to flower entrepreneurs, despite the rise in local production the country is yet to produce flowers as per its full capacity.
"We have a great capacity to produce flowers but for some reason, we are not able to produce it fully. Although the import of flowers is decreasing, we still need to focus on increasing our production to make Nepal self-reliant on flowers," said Kumar Kasaju Shrestha, president of Floriculture Association Nepal (FAN).
Sayapatri (Marigold), Makhamali (Gomphrena globosa) and Godavari (Chrysanthemum) are three main flower varieties used during the Tihar festivals. This year, 1.8 million garlands of Marigold, 1.5 million garlands of Godavari, and 300,000 garlands of Makhamali are expected to be sold during the festivals.
According to FAN officials, flowers are being grown in 157 hectares of land across Nepal. Every year, Nepal is decreasing the import rate of flowers from other nations by 5%.
The consumption of flowers is most during the Tihar festivals. People use flower garlands to decorate their houses during Tihar. Round the year, people also use flowers for different rituals, puja, and offering to deities in temples. People also plant flowers in their houses and gardens to make their house look more attractive and presentable.