KHULNA: With change in tastes and a rising affluent class, the demand for fresh flowers has increased in Khulna city over the last decade. Consequently, many local people are benefiting from the thriving business by supplying and selling flowers in city markets.
To exploit the potential of the trade, several flower shops have been sprung up at the Farajipara Road market under sadar thana in the city in recent years. About 85 people are earning their living from the shops, which have flowery names such as Dolon Chapa, Fulessharee, Golap Kanon, Rajonigandha, Irani Golap, Pushpamala, Fuler Bashor, Rose Garden, Karobi Puspaloy, Beli Garden, Swarna Chapa, Biyer Ful, Swapner Thikana and so on.
The chief district where flowers are produced is Jashore. There are several other areas too: Savar, some parts of Chittagong, Gazipur, Narsingdi and Narayanganj are some names among others. Jashore has its own wholesale market, where farmers sell their produce. The retailers buy from the wholesalers and very quickly pack the flowers to go to their respective shops by trucks or buses, every morning.
Abdur Rahim, a flower farmer of Godkhali village under Jashore district said over cell phone, “We grow sixty types of flowers and produces year-round except for one foggy month in winter. We also grow seasonal flowers, including dalias and cherry.”
General Secretary of Khulna Flower Market Owners’ Association Abdul Latif Hawlader said, “If properly managed, the flower industry can become a truly booming one. It has got potential. A lot needs to be done. We still do not have the necessary logistics to pull this through. The government must come to patronize our farmers for growing the quality of the flowers.”
“We sell flowers all the year round, but the peak season for the business is from September to March when wedding and extravagant parties take place at higher rate. In the month of February, our nation experiences a floral fiesta,” he added. “We make a 25 per cent profit on the normal market days,” he further said.
On the special days such as Pahela Falgun, December 16, February 21, March 26 and ‘Valentine Day’ when flower sale goes high, the business sees profit up to about 50 per cent. The market offers other wedding decorations, including Styrofoam signs, headdresses and green garlands made from rolled-up debdaru and mehogany leaves.
Saidur Rahman, said whose band-aid conferred fingers swiftly work the needle, coaxing flowers into thread. I used to sell jasmine garlands as a vendor. But I started this work when I saw business picking up. I am my own boss and I taught all of them,” he says, proudly pointing to the other men working next to him.