Indian roses to fulfil Valentine’s Day dreams of Nepal’s lovebirds

According to data from the Floriculture Association Nepal, vendors sell around 200,000 roses on Valentine’s Day.

world Updated: Feb 13, 2017 22:33 IST
Anil Giri
Anil Giri
Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
Nepal,Valentine's Day,Indian roses
The Floriculture Association Nepal has estimated that roses from India will account for sales worth Nepalese Rs 5 million on Valentine’s Day.(Samir Jana/ HT Photo)

Thousands of Nepalese citizens planning to gift a red rose to their beloved on Valentine’s Day will have a reason to thank India — 100,000 roses have been imported from the neighbouring country as local production could not keep pace with requirements.

“Out of the total demand of 200,000 sticks of rose in Nepal for this particular day, we have already imported half of that number from India,” said Kumar Kasaju Shrestha, chairman of Floriculture Association Nepal.

The association has estimated roses worth Nepalese Rs 20 million will be sold on Valentine’s Day. Shrestha put the value of roses imported from India at Nepalese Rs 5 million.

With increased access to social media and the internet, Nepal’s younger generation is tilting towards Western culture, including events such as Valentine’s Day, and the demand for red roses has increased over the years.

The trend of importing roses or other floriculture-related items from India too has increased by 12% to 25% annually, industry observers said.

According to data from the Floriculture Association Nepal, around 7,000 roses are sold on most days. But when it comes to Valentine’s Day, vendors sell around 200,000 roses in a single day.

Last year, according to the association, the domestic market accounted for 180,000 roses on the occasion of Valentine's Day. People in Kathmandu bought 95% of the total.

Despite a rise in prices of flowers brought in from India, they are still cheaper than imports from the Netherlands, Italy or the US.

According to Shrestha, one Indian rose costs a minimum of Nepalese Rs 16. Last year, vendors sold each rose for Nepalese Rs 40.

Nepal has just seven floriculture firms that produce roses but their total production capacity is 100,000 roses a year. “The rest of the sticks have to be imported from India,” he said.

Though there is a good demand for flowers in Nepal, production has not kept pace for several reasons. Nepal now imports more than 70% of its requirement of various flowers and related items from India. Traders said 90% of the total requirements are fulfilled by suppliers based in Kolkata, Pune and Bangalore.

First Published: Feb 13, 2017 18:34 IST