February is an eventful month, with Pahela Falgun, Valentines’ Day, and International Mother Language Day lined up. Each occasion is unique, but flowers are an integral part of all three events.
Flower farmers in Jashore’s Jhikargacha are gearing up for this busy season, expecting to sell flowers worth around Tk 70-80 crore this month.
According to Bangladesh Flower Society, at least 8,000 people are involved in floriculture on around 3,500 hectares of land there.
Around 12 species of flowers are cultivated in Jhikargacha. Of total production, gladiolus cultivation is 45 percent, tuberose (rajanigandha) 25 percent, and rose 20 percent. Gerbera, gypsy, calendula, sunflower, and marigold are also grown.
Rafiqul Islam, a gardener, said he has cultivated tuberose, double tuberose, hybrid tuberose, rose, gerbera, marigold and gladiolus. He is expecting to sell flowers worth Tk 2 lakh.
Rafiqul said it costs Tk 1 lakh to cultivate rose on one bigha land. The price of 4,000 rose saplings is around Tk 50,000, while other costs add up to Tk 50,000. From each sapling, he will get flowers for up to seven years.
Another farmer, Amzad Hossain, said he is expecting to sell flowers worth Tk 1.5 lakh if the weather remains favourable.
Bablu Miah, a gerbera flower cultivator, said he was selling around 5,000 flowers every week. “I hope to sell flowers worth Tk 4 lakh this month,” he said.
Bangladesh Flower Society President Abdur Rahim said around four million people across the country are involved in this sector. Among them, around 30,000 are farmers. In Jashore, 10,000-12,000 farmers are involved with flower cultivation.
A seller arranges red roses for display. Seventy percent of the country’s flower supply comes from this district. Photo: collected
This year the farmers are expecting sales to cross Tk 70-80 crore as the weather has been favourable so far, he said.
Sadhon Kumar Biswas, upazila nirbahi officer, said the government has taken a number of initiatives for the flower farmers, including arranging training and easy bank loans for them.
Flower cultivation in Jhikargacha’s Godkhali began in 1983 on a meager 30 decimal of land, said Abdur Rahim.
Nearly four decades later, the cultivation has spread to over 3,500 hectares, he said, “Flowers cultivated here are being exported to Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore and North Korea,” he said.
The wholesale flower market at Godkhali is the source of 70 percent of the country’s entire flower supply.
Whether to make a colourful crown on Falgun, gift a loved one on Valentines’ Day, or pay respect to martyrs on Ekushey — there is a flower for every occasion.