October 25: The prices of garlands are expected to increase during the festival of Tihar this year. The retail price of garland made up of Makhamali flower (globe amaranth) per piece is expected to reach up to Rs 100.
The main reason for the hike in the prices of garlands is the decline in production of flowers in the country. Lately, the floriculture business has been greatly hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the unseasonal rain. This has resulted in a decline of flower production.
According to the Floriculture Association of Nepal, the price of 1 meter long Makhamali (globe amaranth) garland is expected to cost up to Rs 100, which is Rs 20 more as compared to the price of last year. The price of the same garland was Rs 80 last year. The price of garland is generally determined by its length.
According to the preliminary data of the association, the floriculture sector has sustained damage between 30 to 35 percent damage due to the recent unseasonal rainfall. Similarly, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, about 22 percent florists have given up on flower business causing a decline in the overall production.
According to Bishwa Mani Pokharel, general secretary of the association, the unseasonal rainfall has caused severe damage to floriculture in Chitwan, Rupandehi, Nawalparasi, Dang, Kathmandu, Dhading, Nuwakot and Kavrepalanchok districts. He added that 85 percent of the demand for Makhamali (globe amaranth) flower during the festival would be supplied by the domestic production and the remaining 15 percent would be imported into the country.
Despite the increase in the price of garlands compared to last year, the association has estimated that around 1.8 million garlands will be consumed in the country this year. As per the estimation, 1.5 million garlands of marigold flowers, 300,000 garlands of globe amaranth flower and 15,000 garlands of Indian chrysanthemum will be consumed during this Tihar festival.
The floriculture business is spread over 43 districts of the country. The total investment on floriculture is around Rs 6 billion. Altogether 700 entrepreneurs are involved in the business, which has given employment to more than 40,000 people.