The Floriculture Association of Nepal (Fan) is scheduled to hold the 18th Flora Expo from March 21 at Exhibition Hall, Bhrikuti Mandap. The fair aims to promote the flower business by providing a common platform for flower growers, traders and customers. This year’s expo is being organised under the theme Flower Business for Clean Environment and Economic Prosperity.
The four-day event will have 65 stalls showcasing more than 450 species of flowers and 10 stalls offering varied information. The flowers on display include seasonal and decorative flowers, cut flowers, dried flowers and orchids, among others. The expo will feature various demonstrations of the flower arts, agricultural equipment and garden tools, house plants, biological pesticides and planting materials for professional farming. India is also participating in the expo.
Kumar Kasaju Shrestha, coordinator of the fair, said that the fair would be helpful for florists and people wanting to decorate their homes and gardens. “With a rise in demand, the pace of the development of floriculture is also increasing. But we need to use advanced technology for floriculture,” he said. The organiser will demonstrate the latest technologies used in the developed countries at the expo, he added.
According to Fan data, Nepal’s flower business recorded a turnover of Rs1.27 billion in the last fiscal year 2013-14, a 10.43 percent increase over the previous year. There are around 675 nurseries occupying an area of 141 hectares in 38 districts.
A total of 41,000 people are directly and indirectly involved in this business which has an investment of Rs4.5 billion.
“Although the domestic floriculture business has been expanding annually, we have not been successful in import substitution. So we need to focus on quality besides farming new species of flowers that are in high demand,” said Loknath Gaire, president of the association.
The country imports massive quantities of flowers during the Tihar festival and Valentine’s Day. Imports amounted to Rs40 million while flowers worth Rs30 million were exported in the last fiscal year, according to the association.
The country produced seasonal flowers worth Rs216.8 million, decorative flowers worth Rs381.5 million, cut flowers worth Rs204.5, landscape and gardening flowers worth Rs170.4 million and other flowers like carpet grass and flower bulbs worth Rs83.3 million.
The organiser plans to award exhibitors under six different categories. Minister for Agricultural Development Hari Prasad Parajuli is scheduled to inaugurate the expo.