Ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected flower markets and cultivations in Bangladesh as the growers have already incurred a loss of Tk 250 crore, according to an estimate of Bangladesh Flower Society.
Society’s president Abdur Rahim told New Age that at least 20,000 farmers are currently engaged in floriculture in Bangladesh.
He said that there were also about five million people who were directly and indirectly involved in this sector face tough time as flower were not sold during the Bangla New Year, one of the big events where flower sellers make huge sale and profit.
Since last one month, the thousands of tonnes of flowers have been perished as the growers could not sell their produces due to the coronavirus situation as all celebrations and outdoor events were cancelled from the Independence Day on March 26 onwards, he said.
‘We demand that the government should give special financial package for the country’s flower growers and the people engaged in the sector,’ said the BFS president.
The first day of the Bangla calendar year, Pahela Boishakh, to be observed on April 14 but there is no sale and supply of the flower products.
Farmers in the country’s 35 districts especially in Jessore, Makinkganj, Gazipur, Rangpur, Dinajpur and Faridpur grow various kinds of flowers for commercial purposes.
The promising floral industry is worth about Tk 1500 crore.
Farmers grow rose, tuberose, marigold, gerbera and gladiolus on about 2500 hectares of land in the districts, according to the agriculturists.
The usual scenes of stringing garlands of flowers, busy florists and salespersons attending flower lovers and buyers in the capital’s Shahbagh area have been absent since the mid-March due to restriction on movement enforced by the government.
Arifur Rahman, a flower grower in Savar, said that he was growing gerbera, gladiolus and tuberose on his 6 bighas of land.
He said that he had experiences of selling flowers during hartals and political unrests, but he did not witness such a time before when the sale of flowers became totally impossible.
Supply chain expert Moziball Hoque told New Age that the floral industry was only one of the many businesses across the country facing daunting prospects because of the coronavirus epidemic.He said that the country’s 20,000 flowergrowers and many traders were being ruined by the virus while the flowers were perishable items and were not easy to be preserved.Moziball Hoque, also Supermarket and Distribution Specialist of Solidaridad South and South East Asia, recommended for immediate support to the floral industry.‘People in flower production, supply, marketing and distribution are badly affected by the coronavirus,’ he said, adding that flowers worth Tk 250 crore were supposed to be sold only on Pahela Baishakh but this year there was no sale.