Flower farmers in Jashore’s Jhikargacha say they expect to sell flowers worth Tk 70-80 crore (Tk 700-800 million) ahead of Pahela Falgun, Valentine's Day and International Mother Language Day this month.
According to Bangladesh Flower Society, 8000-10,000 florists are involved in flower cultivation in around 3,500 hectares of land there.
Around 12 species of flowers are cultivated here. Among the total cultivation, gladiolus cultivation is 45 per cent, tuberose 25 per cent and rose 20 per cent. Other flowers are - gerbera, tuberose, gypsy, calendula and sunflower.
Rafiqul Islam, a gardener, said he has cultivated tuberose, double tuberose, hybrid tuberose, rose, gerbera, marigold and gladiolus. He is expecting to sell flowers worth Tk 200,000.
Rafiqul said it costs Tk 100,000 to cultivate rose on one bigha land. The price of 4,000 rose saplings is around Tk 50,000 and other cost is around Tk 50,000. From each sapling, he will get flowers for up to seven years.
Another gardener, Amzad Hossain, said he is expecting to sell flowers worth Tk 150,000 if the weather remains favourable.
Bablu Miah, a gerbera flower cultivator, said he was selling around 5,000 flowers every week. “I hope to sell flowers worth Tk 400,000 this month,” he said.
Bangladesh Flower Society president Abdur Rahim said around four million people across the country are involved in this sector. Among them, around 30,000 are farmers. In this district, 10,000-12,000 farmers are involved with flower cultivation.
This year the farmers are expecting the sales will cross Tk 70-80 crore as the weather is favourable, he said.
Sadhon Kumar Biswas, upazila nirbahi officer, said the government has taken a number of initiatives for the flower farmers, including arranging training and easy bank loan.
Flower cultivation in Godkhali began in 1983 on a meagre 30 decimal of land, said Abdur Rahim.
Nearly four decades late, the cultivation has spread to over 3,500 hectares, he said, adding that the wholesale flower market at Godkhali is the source of 70 per cent of the entire flower supply of the country.
“Flowers cultivated here are being exported to Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore and North Korea,” he said.