21 December 2021, Sittwe
Flower growers in Arakan State say they need technical assistance in order to prosper amid rising fertiliser prices and other difficulties in post-coup Myanmar.
“We cannot use as much fertiliser as before. The number of flower growers in Arakan is lower than before because we’re not getting a good enough price. And we need technical [help] to grow flowers,” said U Gampari, one such florist.
Chrysanthemum, frost aster, aster and jasmine are Arakan State’s main floral offerings.
Arakan State’s flower growers say the market has not fetched good prices amid the twin crises of Covid-19 and Myanmar’s post-coup economic realities.
“This year, the cost of flower growing is more expensive than before. We have to plant flowers in their season because of technical weakness. Flowers bloom in all seasons, and quality is better outside Arakan State because they have [better] technology,” said U Maung Aye Win, a flower grower in Sittwe’s Mingan ward.
“Previously, flowers imported from other parts of Myanmar were sold for K6,000 a bunch, but it has risen by K1,000. Flowers cannot be grown in any season here. They can be available in winter only. We need technology to be able to grow flowers in any season,” said Ko Lu Pyo Gyi, another flower vendor.
Currently, flower growers in the Arakan State capital Sittwe, most of whom are renting land under a short-term plan from the government, face difficulty growing perennials, according to the aforementioned florists.