DHAKA, April 21 (Xinhuanet) -- By and large, love for flowers is ingrained in the people of the country. But in recent years, its seems that a revolution has taken place in people's attitude towards flowers.
A new outlook is evidenced in the widespread interest shown by them, so much so that such interest seems to have become institutionalized.
On the occasion of marriage, birth, death and wedding anniversaries or in fact, on big or small occasions, flowers are replacing other items as gift, which was not in practice even a decade back.
"People in the past used to take sweets packet or other items asgift. But now a days the trend is changing. Many people are takingflower baskets instead of sweets to their relatives or friends' house," Enayet Hossain, a flower shop owner in the capital said.
And over 50 percent of the flower need in the country is being met by India. Flowers making ways into Bangladesh through officialand unofficial ways.
" Flowers worth about three million taka (around 53,000 U.S. dollars) come from India a month," Shankar Pal, an importer of flowers said. "What India can, We can't. We lack that knowledge and technology of growing some flowers round the year. But they have high demand here," Pal added.
The culture of flower use is spreading fast across the country. "You just can't imagine how quickly the culture is growing. Everyday it is increasing ," Hossain, said.
"You go to any remote areas of the country, you will see flowers shops. This culture was almost absent one and a half decades back," Hossain said.
There are several areas in the capital which bear witness to the people's interest in flowers. They are regarded as hub of flower market in the city.
Previously, the space in front of the High Court, near the citycenter, was the venue of flower trade. Now it has spread to every nook and corner of the city.
Besides flower shops, there are numerous roadside vendors in the city. Lately, this wide appreciation of flowers forms a new staple business in the hands of some nondescript youngsters. They can be seen just at the moments when car owners, or auto-rickshaw passengers stop at road junctions due to traffic jam or in the busy shopping areas.
These youngsters offer a couple of roses and tuberoses or smallgarlands of flowers at a little price. These little boys and girlsare seen in their trade late at night. They present a poignant spectacle of a grim battle for subsistence in all weathers.
About one and a half decades back, there was no professional flower farming in the country. Now farmers in different areas of the country have come up in the business." But they have no knowledge and enough fund for growing quality flowers," said FaridAhmed, a wholesale trader of flowers in the capital.
The government very often speaks of growing flowers. But there is no government initiative or fund for flower farming. This year the Agriculture Bank has taken a decision to give fund to flower growers, but the process of getting the loan is tougher, flower traders said.
Hossain said there is no a single green house where all sorts of flowers could be produced throughout the year. "We need green house badly. But it's not possible for traders without government help to set up such costly thing," he said.
Farid Ahmed felt the need of a flower policy in the country. Hesaid a team of flower traders had visited 14 countries in Europe and elsewhere to acquire knowledge about growing flower on commercial line. "Since we have no fund, we can't go for that. Flower cultivation is very costly," he added.
About exports, flower traders said due to air flight problem, the country cannot export flower in a bulk. A negligible quantity of flowers is now exported to Europe and the Middle East, they said.