Dhaka, Feb 24 (UNB) -Although the floriculture industry is booming with each passing year, there is still some way to go towards realizing its full potential.
The businesses said that recently the use of flowers has vastly increased among the young especially, as changing cultural practices combining with enhanced consumerism in a growing economy. The calendar these days is packed with days when flower sellers can make a killing, and the export market is gradually picking up. These are the trends that have expedited the growth of the flower business in the country.
Even artificial flowers are gaining in popularity gradually, thanks to their use during different occasions including marriage, political and cultural programs, mainly as decorative items. Artificial flowers also enjoy the advantage of not being perishable.
According to floriculture industry insiders, the country’s flowers and floral products are being exported to different countries including India, Pakistan, Italy, Portugal, Middle east country specially Saudi Arabia, the United States, South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Japan, Germany, Britain, Denmark and France.
A recent report of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) said the country’s local market for flowers and cut foliage has reached Tk1,200 crore per annum and growing at 10 percent per annum.
According to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, the country’s export earnings from Cut Flower and Foliage for the July to January period of the current fiscal (2018-19) touched $3.98 million already, up from just $0.02 million in the 2017-18 fiscal year.
EPB data also read, Bangladesh exported cut flowers, leaves, trees, plants, bulbs, roots of $86,000 (about Tk 72 lakh) in the 2016-17 fiscal, and $78,000 (about Tk 65 lakh) in the previous fiscal.
Abdur Rahim, president of Bangladesh Flower Society (BFS), said Bangladesh has an economic advantage thanks to its favorable climate and topography as well as low labour costs and relatively low capital investment, which is helping the sector to flourish. “We can better grip the markets both at home and abroad,” Rahim said.
“More than 20 districts including Jashore, Jhenidah, Magura, Rangpur, Bogra, Dhaka (Savar), Gazipur and Manikganj districts, view thethe flower and foliage farming are cultivated flowers. Around 200,000 people are directly and indirectly dependent on this sector while more than 25,000 families are engaged in cultivating flowers,” he also said.
Anwar Faruque, former secretary of Agriculture Ministry told, “We can earn huge amount of foreign currency if we can cultivate flowers properly. We noticed that the demand of Bangladeshi flowers is positive to world markets. So we should facilitate the cultivation process and train up farmers in this regard.
“The government and involved people of the sector have to move for introducing modern technologies and ensuring supply of newer seeds, building warehouses and cold storages,” he also said.
According to International Trade Centre (ITC) study, the global flower exports over the last few years have grown by more than 10% annually. Based on this trend, the global export of flowers is expected to reach $45 billion in 2018.
However, World Floriculture Map read the export value reached over $10 billion in 2015 from only cut flower segment. However, Europe is the largest consumer of floriculture followed by North America and China.
Babul Proshad, president of Dhaka Ful Bayabsayee Kallyan Somity Ltd, “We have been doing natural flower business for long years at Shahbagh, we cannot selling artificial flowers. Our business is affected over the products.
“Import duty of artificial products that are made plastic should be further increased. These items also affected for environment,” he also said.
Director of DCCI, also former president, Abul Kasem Khan said, the flower sector is a very potent industry but there is no specific policy for the emerging here. To establish the sector, infrastructure development through investing in more cold storages is much needed.
Dr. M. A. Matin, General Secretary of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) told UNB that the artificial flowers are made of plastic or polythene materials, which are harmful to the environment. All the more reason then, to abandon them.