Flower growers in Jashore eye Tk 35cr sales
Flower farmers in Gadkhali union of Jashore are expected to rake in about Tk 35 crore in the upcoming sales season, which begins with new year celebrations followed by Pahela Falgun, Valentine's Day and International Mother Language Day.
As such, they are currently busy planting different types of seedlings and hope to get better yields if the weather remains favourable.
Many farmers in the Gadkhali and Panisara unions under Jhikargacha upazila of Jashore have been cultivating flowers for a long time, making it one of the largest producing districts in Bangladesh.
The region produces 11 types of flowers, including roses, gerbera and marigold, that have captivated the hearts of people all over the country for years now.
However, growers are mainly looking to recover the losses sustained amid the Covid-19 pandemic as the lack of festivities at the time severely hampered business.
Recovery has been good so far though as they registered record sales on the occasion of Victory Day on December 16 this year.
When travelling around Panisara and Gadkhali, one can only see a vast sea of flowers on either side of the road as farmers have ramped up cultivation considering the favourable weather.
"We could not profit from flower cultivation for two years amid the Covid-19 outbreak, due to which many farmers switched to growing vegetables and other crops in their fields," said Ismail Hossain, a flower farmer in Gadkhali.
However, the situation has since reversed as flower sales have grown alongside the return to normalcy.
"So, it is expected that flower sales will be considerably high this time," he added.
During a visit to the flower market in Gadkhali, it was found that a single rose is selling for Tk 3 while gladiolus and gerbera are both going for Tk 8-10 per piece. Meanwhile, 100-piece bunches of chrysanthemum are priced at Tk 150 while 1,000-piece bunches of marigold cost Tk 300.
Aminur Rahman, a local florist, said the price of flowers has increased following Victory Day. However, he expects both the demand and price will increase again during the upcoming occasions.
He then said that flowers have arrived in local markets comparatively earlier this year.
Shahidur Rahman, a flower wholesaler from Dhaka's Jatrabari, said he has been staying in Gadkhali for the past three days to collect flowers for the upcoming events.
Abdur Rahim, president of the Bangladesh Flower Society, said more flowers than expected have been cultivated in Gadkhali this year.
"We expect to sell flowers worth over Tk 30-35 crore this time," he added, citing how they already registered huge sales on the first big sales day of the year (Victory Day).
Apart from the land used in Gadkhali and Panisara, another 15,000 hectares across Jashore are used to cultivate various flowers, according to Masud Hossain Palash, agricultural officer of Jhikargacha upazila.
"The local Department of Agricultural Extension [DAE] supports the farmers in various ways," he said.
More than 2,200 hectares of land across the country were used to grow flowers in fiscal 2020-21, DAE data shows.