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Staff Correspondent
Widespread use of flowers in various programmes, including national days and international festivals, has expanded the flowers business to the tune of USD 15 crore per annum in Bangladesh.
Across the country, people from different walks of life now use flowers to greet friends and families and to observe several programmes.
Celebration of national days, such as Independence Day, Ekushey February, and Victory Day, has speeded up the growth of flower business in the country. Besides, celebration of western festivals, such as Friendship Day, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and cultural events like Pahela Baishakh, Pahela Falgun, has reached the grassroots level than before, which is improving the business.
In Bangladesh, flowers are being cultivated in nearly 10,000 hectares of land in 23 districts including Jashore, Jhenidah, Magura, Rangpur, Bogura, Dhaka, Gazipur and Manikganj districts.
There are a number of flower shops in the capital, especially Shahbagh area, and it has been growing day by day. Around 100 flower shops at the country’s largest flower market Shahbagh are busy every moment to selling different types of flowers.
Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) statistics says the local market size of flowers and cut foliage sector in the country reached to USD150 million annually. Besides, the flower export especially cut flower is growing over 10 per cent reaching USD 86,000 so far this year.
Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data say, in FY 2016-17 , Bangladesh exported cut flowers, leaves, trees, plants, bulbs, roots worth US$86,000, which was US$78,000 last year.
Bangladesh exported flowers and floral products to the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, India, Pakistan, Italy, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Denmark and France.
International Trade Centre study shows that global flower exports over the last few years have grown by more than 0.10 per cent annually. Based on this trend, global export of flower is expected to reach USD45 billion in 2018.
“It is a market of 150 million US dollars, which is still untapped. Flower should be declared as an agricultural product. We can grab the flower market at home and abroad by using the favourable environment and comparatively better opportunity,” said Abdur Rahim, president of Bangladesh Flower Society (BFS).
He said, more than 20,000 people are currently engaged in flower production directly across the country. And about 3 million people are directly and indirectly involved in this sector.
DCCI President Abul Kasem Khan said, in Bangladesh, agriculture sector contributes 14.32 per cent to the country’s total Gross Domestic Product. Flower is an important component of agriculture and is a multibillion-dollar industry in many countries.
He said the country needs to explore the full potential of the flower sector with knowledge and training. And comprehensive policy support is needed from the government for the development of this sector.
Former Agriculture Secretary Anwar Faruque said Bangladesh has huge opportunity to make profit out of this sector.
“Private sectors should come forward to invest in flower sector,” he said, adding “We need to produce best quality seedlings for more and quality flower production.”
He said the government with the help of USAID, a training facility has already been provided to 3000 flower farmers across the country.
In this regard, a 3-day-long International Flower Exhibition and Conference 2018 was held at BICC in the capital on December 6 to 8, organised by DCCI in support of USAID and in association with Bangladesh Flower Society.