Flower supplier eyes local production to meet NE demand

GUWAHATI: Zopar Exports Private Ltd, the leading flower supplier in the Northeast, is looking to scale up local production and offer the freshest of flowers at value-for-money rates to customers in the region.

“This year, we have had to procure 125,000 roses from Bengaluru and Pune for Valentine’s Day compared to about 85,000 last year. But, we are in the process of dismantling our infrastructure in Bengaluru, where we had 16 green houses (across 2000 square foot plantation area) and setting up the same in Aizawl,” Noor Mohammad, general manager of Zopar Exports Private Ltd, told The Shillong Times here on Thursday.

Already, 12 green houses has been re-constructed in Mizoram where the firm is based.

“Once completed, we will have 30 per cent plantation area for roses, 20 per cent for chrysanthemums and 50 per cent for carnations. The alteration will not only cut costs such as air fare and storage but will help us offer the freshest flowers of the season, which have a high demand, at reduced rates to customers,” Mohammad said.

As it is, the demand for flowers, which mainly comprising roses, chrysanthemums and carnations, has picked up by about 30 per cent in the run up to Valentine’s Day on Friday from the corresponding period last year.

Zopar has five outlets in Mizoram, three in Shillong, two in Kohima and a wholesale point in Guwahati.

“The sale of red roses of the Dutch variety in the Northeast is the highest in Guwahati. There has been an increase of 30 per cent flower retail area in GS Road and RG Baruah Road alone. The other cities where the sales are high on Valentine’s Day are Shillong and Kohima. However, in Shillong, the sale of flowers shoots up on All Soul’s Day while in Kohima, the demand rises on Mother’s Day,” he said.

He further informed that production and demand across the country in general has increased and as such the rates too have been high starting from the wedding season.

Zopar produces about 15,000 flowers daily in the region, most of which are sold locally. Low winter temperatures in parts of the Northeast affect production (delays budding) for which the firm has to procure from outside the region to meet the growing demand.

There is always a shortfall to meet the market demand with the average demand for flowers in the Northeast crossing 6 lakh per month against the average production, which is about 4.5 lakh per month.

“We are now looking to address this and meet the demand for fresh flowers through local production by scaling up infrastructure. Flowers being perishable commodity, the shipment and storage time of three to four days can at times be too long for retaining freshness,” he added.

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