The farmlands and houses’ courtyards at Gundu in Surya Binayak Municipality-7 in Bhaktapur district are abloom with marigold and Makhamali (globe amaranth) flowers that are in high demand during the Tihar festival. As more and more people in Gundu village are taking up floriculture, not only the flowers have added to the beauty and charm of the villages, the commercial farming of these flowers is also fetching them handsome income. While the domestic market in Nepal is dominant by the flowers from India, the flowers grown in Gundu village are exported to foreign countries with Nepali diaspora such as Australia and the USA among others.
National Farmers Federation Nepal’s central secretariat member Anita Basnet, who has been involved in floriculture for nearly two decades, said that the flowers grown in her 3-ropani farmland reach the USA and Australia. Basnet shared that her produces, mix of marigold and Makhamali flowers, fetch her around Rs 400,000 seasonally on average. According to her, they could make around 4,000 garlands out of the Makhamali flowers planted across 1 ropani. She said she has already sent 10,000 garlands abroad in view of upcoming Tihar festivals. When there was higher demand, she buys garland from the fellow farmers and sends them abroad.
Traders visit the farmland themselves to get the fresh produces while some farmers take their flowers to the market themselves. Mina Nagarkoti, another local, said that she earns Rs 100,000 from the flowers planted across 1 ropani. A bunch of marigold is being sold at Rs 10 to Rs 12, she said. This season, she weaved a total of 1,100 from the globe amaranth flowers planted across 4 aana land. As Tihar festival is at hand, farmers planting marigold and globe amaranth are bustling harvesting and weaving garlands from flowers holding distinct cultural and religious significance.