Farmers in Tanahun have been worried after the marigold in their farm bloomed weeks before the arrival of Tihar festival.
They are worried as the flowers planted for the Tihar festival started blooming before Dashain and began drying almost two weeks before the Tihar festival.
The farmers have said that the flowers have blossomed earlier because of the high temperature even during the time when it should have been cold and excess rains.
Govinda Adhikari of Aroudi in Bhimad Municipality-8, who has been cultivating flowers commercially, said that the flowers that should have bloomed during the Tihar festival bloomed before Dashain this season.
Last year, he had made a better income than expected by planting flowers on a small plot of land for testing. And, this year, he planted flowers in about five ropanis of land.
He said that he bought 10,000 marigold saplings from Chitwan and planted them expecting a handsome income in Tihar.
Farmers in Tanahun have been attracted towards marigold cultivation in recent years as they started making good income by selling marigold flowers.
The Agriculture Knowledge Centre Tanahun said that there is no provision of relief programme to the flower farmers.
Agriculture Officer Rajeshwar Silwal said that there was no programme to benefit the floriculture farmers in the district as well as statistics of commercial flower farmers in the district.
He said that the farmers engaged in floriculture have also not put forth their demands to the Agriculture Knowledge Centre.
According to the farmers, fear of the COVID-19 pandemic also affected flower sales as there were no fairs and other events.
“We have been compelled to wait for the festival to sell flowers due to COVID-19 as there were no fairs and events where the demand for flowers used to be high,” farmer Adhikari said.
According to the Floriculture Association of Nepal (FAN), some of the floriculture farmers are suffering in lack of farming knowledge.
FAN Chairman Min Bahadur Tamang said that it would be appropriate for the farmers to cultivate flowers only after consulting the association, adding that flowering could be delayed as per the selection of marigold seedlings.
According to the association, more than 700 farmers from 43 districts of the country have engaged in commercial floriculture.
Stating that there is an annual turnover of flowers amounting around Rs. 3 billion, he claimed that 85 per cent of the demand for flowers in the Nepali market is met by domestic production.
According to the association, marigold worth about Rs. 100 to Rs. 110 million is traded on the three days of Tihar festival every year.
Source : TRN,