Despite being a favourable region for the flower industry, Bangladesh is yet to gain momentum in this sector, experts said on Wednesday.
Speakers made the observation at a seminar on investment opportunities in the flower industry, organized at the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) auditorium by the DCCI and USAID’s Agriculture Value Chains (AVC) Project.
They highlighted the variety of flowers, access to adequate finance, greenhouse infrastructure with adequate irrigation systems, the export market, research and development, training, skill development, and transportation as some of the challenges in this sector.
The flower industry in the USA alone is worth $26 billion, with that in China worth of $23 billion. However, Asia is the fastest growing region for the flower industry.
President of China Horticulture Business Services Dr Heidi Wernett said that Bangladeshi farmers are currently producing flowers worth $10-20 million.
“These flowers are grown by 200,000 farmers on just 6,300 hectares of land,” said Dr Heidi, adding that this sector has profitability three to five times higher than that of vegetables.
Speakers also mentioned that the commercial flower sector is currently booming worldwide.
“Global consumption of cut flowers is estimated at a staggering $40-50 billion per year,” explained DCCI Vice President Riyadh Hossain.
“There are around 145 countries involved in the cultivation of these ornamental crops. The flower export target was fixed at $13 million for the fiscal year 2017-18 and already more than $8 million has been earned from July to December of 2017,” he added.
According to the Bangladesh Flower Society, around 10,000 hectares of land are currently being used in the country for the cultivation of flowers.
USAID AVC project Chief of Party Paul Bundick, Deputy Chief of Party Bani Amin, Contracting Officer’s Representative of USAID Bangladesh Aniruddha Hom Roy, DCCI Director KH Rashedul Ahsan, and former DCCI Vice President M Abu Hurairah were present at the seminar.