KATHMANDU, Feb. 10 (PTI) The Nepalese government has banned the import of fresh roses from countries like India and China ahead of Valentine’s Day, media reported on Friday.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Agriculture’s Plant Quarantine and Pesticide Management Center issued a notice instructing its subordinate border defense department not to issue import permits for rose flowers, citing the risk of plant diseases.
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The center issued written instructions to 15 customs offices on the borders of Nepal, India and China prohibiting the import of rose flowers, citing special reasons, My Republica reported.
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The notification states that roses cannot be imported from Kakadbhitta in the east to Gadda Chowki in the west and any customs point in the north.
The notice said: “Unless there are special reasons for other arrangements, please do not issue rose import licenses to all offices under the Center.”
The Center for Phytosanitary Pesticide Management said that imports were temporarily suspended due to the risk of plant diseases.
Mahesh Chandra Acharya, the center’s information officer, said imports were stopped immediately due to the possible presence of diseases and insects in the vegetable products.
“It can be seen that roses and other plants are at risk of disease. Therefore, the import is temporarily halted because no proper research has been done on such diseases,” Acharya said.
“As the meeting of the technical committee has not yet been held, further decisions will be taken after the meeting,” Acharya was quoted as saying.
According to customs department details, Nepal imported 10,612 kg of rose flowers worth Rs 1.3 lakh in the first six months of the current financial year.
JB Tamang, program coordinator at the Nepal Flower Association (NFA), said the government’s decision will now lead to a shortage of roses in the market.
Nearly 300,000 roses were sold in Nepal around Valentine’s Day, according to NFA. Nepal only produces about 20,000 roses, he said.
According to the Kathmandu Post, traders said that nearly 80% of the demand for red roses is met through imports.
According to the NFA, demand for long-stemmed red roses surged to 150,000 on Valentine’s Day.
Most local growers can come up with 30,000-40,000 flower stems and the rest have to be imported from India. Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata are the largest suppliers of red roses in Nepal.
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)