The Eid spirit is missing in Gadkhali, the biggest wholesale market for flowers, near here.
The 4500-odd floriculturists of Sharsha who supply the flowers to the Gadkhali market are down and out, with much of their output damaged by incessant rains.
Seventy-five percent of the flowers used across the country during Eid comes from Jessore, specially Sharsha and the areas around it.
“We had a bumper crop of flowers this year due to favourable weather. But now due to incessant rains, the crop has been badly damaged, we have very little flowers left to sell,” said Salim Reza, general secretary of the Gadkhali Floriculturist Association.
Reza said that flowers worth TK 3 million would be sold every day in Gadkhali — but that has now plummeted to barely TK 100,000 a day.
“The floriculturists are at their wits end.”
Abul Kashem of Putaparha village says he was into floriculture on four Bighas of land he had taken on lease at Tk 12,000 per Bigha annually.
“I have flowers in each plant but after the incessant rains, the flowers have lost their petals almost wholly. We can’t sell them,” said Kashem.
“I have missed my targets for selling flowers during Eid. If the rains continue, we will be ruined.”
Rafiqul Islam, a floriculturist in Jhikorgacha’s Azampur village says it is not possible to even recover planting costs this year.
“Every year, we are pushed hard to meet the demand for flowers. And this year, almost our entire crop is destroyed in the fields.
“There is hardly any selling. At this rate we cannot recover our costs,” said Islam.
Gadkhali’s flower trader Athar Ali says there is huge demand for flowers, but very little supply. “Most of the flowers are damaged and it is difficult to find buyers for them.”
“The quality of flowers that is coming into the market is poor. So I have to try buying them real cheap.”
That is obviously bad news for the floriculturists.
Sarsha Upazila’s agriculture extension official Hirak Kumkar Sarkar told bdnews24.com that favourable weather had led to a bumper flower crop this year.
He had expected the floriculturists of Sharsha to make Tk 60,000 to 70,000 from a Bigha of land this year.
“But the heavy and incessant rains have ruined that hope,” Sarkar said.