KATHMANDU, March 29: The second edition of International Flora Expo 2014, which is under way at Bhrikuti Mandap Exhibition Hall, has drawn as many as 40,000 visitors and recorded transaction worth Rs 5.7 million until Saturday.
According to Floriculture Association of Nepal (FAN), the organizer of the event, the event has been able to draw all categories of visitors ranging from students to professionals and farmers to flower enthusiasts, while it has also been able to record good business.
FAN has expected to draw 70,000 visitors during the event and record transaction worth Rs 10 million. The event concludes on Sunday.
"The expo, as it aimed to cater technical knowledge to domestic farmers, has solely been focusing on to bring new technologies in floriculture industry of the country," Kumar Kasaju Shrestha, vice-president of FAN told Republica, adding, "We have been encouraging domestic farmers to adopt scientific farming in floriculture with the use of latest technologies."
According to FAN, the country exported different types of flowers worth Rs 31.5 million last fiscal year.
Shrestha, who is also the coordinator of the event, believes that adoption of new technologies in domestic floriculture business would enhance Nepal´s floriculture industry, thereby increasing the growing demand of Nepali flower products in international market.
The expo, through 95 stalls, has been promoting more than 500 species of ornamental flowers grown in Nepal. The stalls are also engaged at providing information on cultivation practices of commercially grown flowers. Out of the total, 21 stalls from countries like India, Bangladesh, Japan, Holland and USA are showcasing latest technologies adopted in floriculture business worldwide and scientific cultivation practices.
Meanwhile Lok Nath Gaire, president of the association has blamed the government for not bringing in effective plans and policies targeting the floriculture industry of the country. "Though the industry has been growing at the rate of 15 percent annually, government seems reluctant to this sector," Gaire said, adding "Government has to declare floriculture niche areas to different places of the country and ensure qualitative growth of the industry."
Commercial floriculture farming is carried out in districts like Dhading, Hetuda, Kaski, Kailali and Janakpur, according to FAN.
Informing that more than 80 percent of demand of flowers in the country is fulfilled by domestic producers amid increasing demand from elsewhere, Gaire said "Banks and other financial institutions should not be reluctant to finance the sector."
Moreover, officials at FAN also urged the government to assist the association to conduct such events annually. FAN was able to conduct the second edition of the expo after 13 years.
Meanwhile, FAN also conducted a day-long seminar on ´Floriculture development in Nepal: Prospects and challenges´.