Friday, 27th February 2015

Flora Expo 2014 kicks off

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The second International Flora Expo 2014 has kicked off with an aim to promote floriculture business in the country in order mitigate imports and increase exports at the Bhrikutimandap Exhibition Hall in the capital from Thursday.

A worker transports flowering plants in a wheelbarrow at Brikuti Mandap, Kathmandu, during the inauguration of the Flora Expo 2014 on Thursday.Inaugurating the four-day expo, Minister for Agriculture Development Hari Prasad Parajuli said that the government is committed towards the modernisation and commercialisation of the floriculture sector.

Joining him, Floriculture Association Nepal (FAN) president Lok Nath Gaire said modern technology is must for the development of the floriculture business.

“Poor infrastructure is also a major challenge in the business,” Gaire said. “The government needs to invest in the technology and infrastructure development.”

The expo is organised by FAN in cooperation with Project for Agriculture Commercialization and Trade (PACT) and Department of Agriculture with a slogan “Prosperity through floriculture in Nepal & beyond”.

The expo is features 95 stalls including 59 trading and exhibiting stalls, 15 informative stalls and 21 stalls from abroad. It includes participants from India, Bangladesh, Japan, America and Holland.

FAN expects that the transaction this year will increase by 15-20 percent in this expo compared to previous expo.  The transaction of around Rs 8 million was recorded in the last expo.

FAN will also organise a day-long workshop entitled “Floriculture Development in Nepal: Prospects and Challenges” on the sideline of the expo. The workshop will have participants from national and international level to discuss on the latest technologies and challenges along with finding main issues that are hindering the floriculture sector.

According to FAN statistics, the country has imported flowers worth Rs 369 million in the last fiscal year. Despite an increase in the demand of the flower by 10-15 percent every year, the country’s production has been able to meet only 85 percent of the demand, FAN’s vice-president and coordinator of the expo Kumar Kasaju Shrestha has said.

So far, there are around 650 nursery farms in some 38 districts while 41,000 are directly and indirectly involve in floriculture business.