Although flower stall owners at the biggest flower hub of Dhaka, Shahbagh flower market, achieve windfall profits, they are irate about the many temporary flower vendors who suddenly appear on the streets around this time to cash in on the almost Tk2cr business that Shahbagh experiences.
Manik, owner of Shah Poran Pushpalay, said: “The price of of local flowers increase to Tk15-30 on this occasion, while the price of imported flowers are almost doubled.”
Most of the shops in Shahbagh acquire flowers from different districts across the country, such as Jessore, Chuadanga, Manikganj and Savar.
While speaking with this correspondent, the flower sellers were overwhelmed with the number of customers they were getting because it was Valentine's Day.
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People are seen buying flowers for their significant ones from different shops at the flower market in Dhaka's Shabagh area on the occassion of Valentine's Day on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 Mahmud Hossain Opu/DhakaTribune
Masud was buying flowers for his wife, who was in the hospital tending to her ailing mother.
“My wife is very upset because my mother-in-law is about to undergo a major surgery. I am here to buy her some flowers so I can put a smile on her face, even if it is for a little while,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.
He said he had married Rupa, three months ago. “It was an arranged marriage, but we fell in love shortly afterwards.”
Meanwhile, 70-year-old Barrister Nazimul Alam bought flowers for his wife, Alo. The couple have been together for 35 years.
Surprising Alo with gifts keeps the spark alive in their relationship.
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A general business day at the flower market in Dhaka's Shabagh area Mahmud Hossain Opu/DhakaTribune
Abul Kalam, president of a small traders' association based in Shahbaghs flower market in Dhaka expressed his grief and said: “We have been here for the past 32 years, but still could not obtain registration from the Dhaka South City Corporation. Due to the lack of storage facilities, we have to suffer a loss of 50%, as half of our products get damaged.”
“We wait for special days to see the profitable jump in our business,” he added.
He said a local rose costs Tk15-20, while imported roses are Tk80-100 per piece. The most expensive flowers are Chinese or Thai Lilies, which costs Tk200-250 per piece.