Monday Aug 8, 2022
Monday Aug 8, 2022

Unseasonal rainfall causes flower shortage this Tihar


Nepalnews
2021 Nov 03, 16:30, Kathmandu
Shah, a street vendor selling flowers at Old Baneshwor. Photo: Yamini Bantawa

With Tihar celebrations starting today, Kathmandu’s markets are filled with bright yellow marigolds for sale. Garlands of marigold and globe amaranth (makhamali) hold significant importance in the festival. But sadly, both vendors and celebrators might face problems regarding the shortage of flowers this year.

Unseasonal downpours of October rain destroyed many fields of ready-to-harvest flowers around the country, mainly marigolds and globe amaranth (makhamali) during Tihar. Districts like Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Chitwan, Dhading, etc. produce marigolds. The destruction of floriculture in most districts required flowers to be imported from India to meet the demands. But yet the neighboring country is facing the same problem. 

Vendor selling garlands of marigolds at Kalimati
Photo: Yamini Bantawa
Vendor selling garlands of marigolds at Kalimati Photo: Yamini Bantawa

The demand for marigolds has surged as people are elevated to celebrate Tihar this year after missing out last year due to the pandemic. This also played a role in the hike in prices for the flowers. While around 1.35 million marigold garlands were consumed during Tihar last year, this years' business might get affected due to the lack of it.

“Marigolds are in high demand but there is a shortage in the market. This is why the prices have increased”, says Ramesh Shah, a street vendor selling flowers at Old Baneshwor. “I sold a single garland of marigold at Rs 60 last year. It costs Rs 80 this year”, he says. Shah brought his flowers from Kalimati at Rs 8,000 per sack. Last year, the same amount of flowers only cost him Rs 6,000.

Despite the high demand for flowers in the market, business is not running smoothly for the vendors. Dashain Prasad, a vendor at Kalimati says, “Business has gone down ever since the lockdowns started two years ago”. Due to the surge in prices, people hesitate to buy as many flowers and garlands as they used to before the pandemic. “People used to buy lots of garlands to decorate their homes. But this year, they are purchasing limited amounts of it only”, he adds. 

Globe amaranth (makhamali) flowers are used to make garlands for Bhai Tika
Photo: Yamini Bantawa
Globe amaranth (makhamali) flowers are used to make garlands for Bhai Tika Photo: Yamini Bantawa

Globe amaranth (makhamali) flowers are used to make garlands for Bhai Tika, a significant day of Tihar where sisters worship their brothers. Vendors at Asan, Kathmandu brought the garlands from Bhaktapur and are selling them at Rs.50 per garland. The demand and price for these garlands are likely to increase as Bhai Tika approaches.

READ ALSO:

Tihar Marigold Globe amaranth Makhamali import india garlands Asan Bhai Tika
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