KATHMANDU, Dec 21: The government has endorsed a new floriculture policy, which among other things recognizes floriculure as a priority industry and promises to support it through a slew of incentives for entrepreneurs. The incentives include arrangement of priority sector loans.
The policy approved by the cabinet recently also provisions loan to the entrepreneurs against floriculture farm projects as collateral or floriculture farmer groups as surety.
The policy envisages encouraging floriculture by involving the educated unemployed and people who have retired from service, initiating various studies through government and private sectors and announcing floriculture pocket areas for establishing necessary infrastructure.
“We will encourage development of necessary infrastructure such as irrigation, agricultural roads, collection centers and cold storage with the involvement of government, cooperatives and non-government sectors,” said Tek Nath Luitel, co-spokesperson of MoAD told Republica on Thursday.
The policy has also stipulated that floriculture related materials be included in school or college curriculum, encourage industries to produce medicines, scents and other cosmetics using local flowers.
“We have highly emphasized promotion of floriculture with the maximum involvement of private sector in the management of domestic market and promotion of exports of local floriculture products,” said Luitel.
Recognizing floriculture as national priority industry, providing loan under the government´s priority sector lending, encouraging insurance of floriculture and develop necessary infrastructure to facilitate export to international market are also among the priorities incorporated in the policy.
Development of floriculture has been slowed despite the fact that the Agriculture Prospective Plan (APP), National Agriculture Policy and Commerce Policy have prioritized floriculture as highly export potential high-value product.
“The policy has also provisioned the completion of customs process at the production farm, collection centers or wholesale markets to facilitate the delivery of flowers direct to loading spot at international airport for export,” he added.
In an effort to improve the market access for floriculture, the policy also emphasizes the need for establishing service centers in different places with the involvement of both government and private sector.
Programs to development of modern markets to systematize the market for floriculture products and its inputs, encourage fresh flower outlets, promote the involvement of under-privileged groups to pursue floriculture and create foreign investment in the sector are also comprised in the policy.
The policy has also incorporated the program to enlist indigenous varieties of ornamental flowers to protect their patent rights and their commercial farming, to establish gene bank to preserve the indigenous flowers and encourage floriculture farms that support protection of bio-diversity in the country.
Floriculture has emerged as the highly potential sector which has been providing direct or indirect employment to over 40,000 people in 35 districts across the country.