June 8: Around 20 percent of workers involved in the floriculture business have lost their jobs amid the ongoing prohibitory order. The floriculture entrepreneurs decided for job cuts after facing a daily loss of Rs 10 million.
Due to the recent lockdown, the overall floriculture business has been halted, causing a daily loss of Rs 10 million in the sector. As the business has come to a standstill and the entrepreneurs are struggling to pay the workers, the number of people losing employment has increased.
Hotels, restaurants, party palaces, and temples are closed at the moment and banquets and other functions are not allowed closed. This has brought the flower business to a complete standstill.
Normally, the sales of flowers increase during the month of April and May as there are lots of functions like marriages. However, the flowers in the farm and nurseries have not found any market this time due to the extended lockdown.
According to Kumar Kasaju Shrestha, president of the Floriculture Association of Nepal, floriculture business of Nepal has an annual turnover of over Rs 2.60 billion. On this basis, he estimates that the daily flower business across the country is currently losing around Rs 10 million.
“The figure is only our assumption. The association is preparing to collect details of the actual loss incurred during this period,” he said.
As per the data of the association, the floriculture business has an investment of Rs 6 billion in the country and is currently spread across 43 districts. More than 40,000 people’s livelihood is directly and indirectly linked with this business.
Nurseries produce seasonal flowers and the farms produce annual and perennial flowers. However, the association said that all these flowers were destroyed due to the lockdown.
Floriculture farmer Binod Shrestha has not been able to visit his farm in Kavre due to the lockdown.
“Some of the workers at the farm have already left. Now we have no hope of cultivating flowers. It is becoming difficult to protect even the mother plants,” he said.
He added that all the produced flowers are being destroyed by burying them in a pit to form compost manure.