The government has initiated a move to set up a ‘Flower Research Center’ at Jhikargachha in Jashore in a bid to tap the growing flower market in the country through researches and thus facilitating the commercial flower farmers.
“The Planning Commission has already received a Draft Project Proposal to this end from the Ministry of Agriculture and the project is under consideration,” said a senior Planning Commission official.
The official said Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) under the Ministry of Agriculture will implement the project at an estimated cost of Taka 155.30 crore to be completed by June 2022.
Under the project, a full-fledged and time befitting Flower Research Center will be set up at Jhikargachha to maintain production and supply of flower round the year through conducting necessary researches.
The official said although the country’s people started flower growing at the home yards, in gardens and in tobs out of their hobbies, but over a period of last four decades, flower production and its marketing turned out to be a good business due to the widespread observance of International Mother Language Day on February 21 alongside celebration of the Valentines Day, Pahela Basanta, marriage ceremonies and other functions.
The official said although commercial flower production started at Jhikargachha in Jashore at a limited scale in the early 80’s, but over the nearly last four decades, flower production in Jhikargachha now has expanded in 12,000 hectares of land and some 50,000 people are directly involved in flower production.
Besides, some 10 lakh people are directly or indirectly involved in flower production and farming.The wholesale market size of flower in the country is around Taka 300 crore per year while the retail market size of flower is around Taka 500 crore.
Another official at the Ministry of Agriculture said cultivation of flower has turned into a profitable business over the years since it requires limited capital and many flower farmers in the country apart from Jashore are now expanding flower farming and business.
The official said currently flower farmers are producing flowers commercially in 20 districts including in Jhenidah, Chuadanga, Savar, Gazipur, Mymensingh, Rangpur, Chattogram, Cox’s Bazar, Bogura, Manikganj and Natore.
The production loss of flower at the plucking stage and preservation level could shoot up to 60 percent and to address this issue and motivate further the commercial flower growers, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had earlier directed the Ministry of Agriculture to go for constructing a Flower Research Center.
According to the DPP of the project, the main objectives of the scheme is to increase the production of flower and other enchanting plants by 20 percent by the year 2022 and reducing the production loss of flower by 15 percent at the plucking stage.
The main project operations include setting up a full-fledged flower research center, establishing a green house to conduct researches in a controlled weather, setting up Research fields and other infrastructures having modern facilities, innovating 10 new varieties of flower and 20 new technologies, and setting up a full-fledged training complexes having necessary facilities and equipments where some 13,000 people will be imparted training on flower production, research and business.
The Pre Evaluation Committee (PEC) meeting on the project has already been held.