Floriculture in Pakistan
Pakistan is a country of
small farming households, where, floriculture is the best
option of enhancing the income of the under privileged.
Introduction to the
floriculture crop could be an important intervention in this
regard where the farmer can earn much more by exploiting
available natural resources more efficiently.
We have favorable climate
and cheap labor for growing these crops whereas they need
much less land and water for production.
These crops also give the
premium prices almost round the year and there is no need to
wait for a long time as in the case of other routine crops.
Net profit against the investment is much higher for these
crops compared with
others conventional crops. The products are in high demand
all over the world. But in Pakistan, floriculture is in its
There are lack of resources
and skilled persons to develop the floriculture industry up
to international stander. It is need of the time to produce
skilled personals and explore new means to ensure survival
of our farmer and explore marketing to save our economy as
well as increase our exports.
The industry of growing flowers and other ornamental crops
is mainly concentrated around the big cities: Karachi,
Hyderabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Multan,
Faisalabad, and Quetta. Places such as Pattoki near Lahore,
Sahiwal in Sargodha district and location in the vicinity in
Hyderabad have assumed important because of growing
sizable area under these crops.
Pattoki serve as the centre for floriculture activity in
Pakistan.Through Kasur and Sheikhupura districts have also
developed someexpertise in this field, still Pattoki serve
as the hub market for all floriculture trade. Pattoki
“mandi” is the major forum for buying and selling of fresh
cut flowers especially roses. About one million pieces of
cut flowers are daily exported from Pattoki to different
market in Pakistan, more important of which, are Karachi,
Peshawar, Lahore, and Islamabad.
The flowers are packed into wooden or paper carton, with
each flower pack containing 50 pieces of cut flowers. Each
package one thousand pieces of cut flowers (20 packs @ fifty
pieces). These packages are transported to the destination
by railway and road. Islamabad-Rawalpindi There are a number
of industries and horticultural farms around the twin
The flowers especially roses, gladioli, carnation, day lily
etc are grown for sale as cut flowers. Because of a large
number of foreigners in these cities, there is a good demand
of these commodities. The area under roses is increases day
by day. There is a well establishing market in these towns
and flowers of one kind or other are available through out
the year. The prices of the flowers of these kinds vary
according to the seasons and their availability. Balochistan
Commercial production of flowers in Balochistan has not yet
been reported export for nurseries in the city.
Many areas in this province are suitable for growing of
flowers especially bulb flowers like tulip, lilies,
narcissue,gladioli. Northern region (mainly area of Swat and
Abbottabad), Daffodile, predominantly (Narcissus tazeta)
grows naturally in abundance in these areas. As the demand
of these flowers is increasing in the cities and towns of
all over the Pakistan, the people in the hilly areas have
started growing them in their agriculture fields.
This flowers commodity is on sale for all over the Pakistan
from Peshawar to Karachi from October to February. Area and
production estimates are not available. The flowers have a
sweet and strong flagrance, very much liked by the Pakistan
people but not appreciate by the Europeans.
Some of the problems faced by the floriculture producer
• It is difficulty of a farmer to obtain quality plants in
the desired variety.
• Availability of appropriate facilities for harvest and
• Imbalance fertilizer application
• Non availability of sufficient amount of water in
accordance to its need.
• Low productivity and high cost of production
• High percentage of post harvest losses
• Inadequate storage facilities and outdated methods used in
• Inadequate market information
• Difficulty in obtaining a suitable land for expansion and
in obtaining financial assistance.
• Lack of irrigation facilities
• Non availability of cold chain storage facilities
• Lack of appropriate packaging for floriculture produce.
• Lack of well established information database.
• Lack of infrastructure to support the technology
development, Education and training.
• Continued development of exports of high quality flowers
and bulbs into overseas markets,with special emphasis of
roses for oil extraction.
• Continued support for the expansion and development of the
flowers bulb sectors of the industry.
• Encouraging and supporting the formation of bulb
certification scheme, particularly for bulb exports.
• Promoting opportunity for the development of native flora
for the domestic and export markets.
• Identification of market niches that can be supplied
talking advantage of Pakistan’s climate.
• Increase the networking ability of the industry and the
work with key grower groups to increase their market access.
• Increase the industry’s access to skill based training
•With some popular flowers types oversupplied in the
international markets,ensuring the quality and quantity of
products will be important to maintain market share and
development of export opportunity.
• Increasing national coordination of the industry to
maximize the effectiveness of marketing promotion in export
• Ensuring the availability of skilled labor during
harvesting. Processing is labored intensive and vital for
the product quality.
Exports of Floriculture
Exports of cut flowers andhouse plants are the need of the
day of Pakistani farmers (growers). Being in the stage of
infancy the target quality and quantity cannot be achieved
unless modern ways and means are adopted along with the
provision of basic infrastructure.
This will include expertise
(staff and skilled labour for crop management, grading and
packing), technical advice on production, post harvest
techniques, legal and financial marketing aspects, adequate
cool room capacity, reliable supplies of quality planting
stock, contact supplies of packing material, post harvest
disinfestations facilities(for pest control),
refrigerated transport to markets, reliable freight
forwarded reliable specialist exporters.
This will be additional to
capital (large amount is required to run the business),
market search (to exploit sale opportunity) and the
scientific data (to explore the suitability of verities to
certain situation and regions). These modern ways and means
of production and marketing will ensurequality production
and proper utilization of produce up to the end consumer.
Exportable cut flowers:
Rose, Carnation, Statice, Gypsophila, Gerbera, Anthumrium,
Sanpdragon, Marigold, gladiolus, Narcissus, Freezia,
Tuberose and lily.For the exports of flowers, Pakistan is
updating technology but it still needs to look at
alternatives to the country’s-old growing and exporting
methods. Reshipment checking is a vital part of ensuring
rotting perishable items sent abroad.
Therefore Pakistan needs a
“cool chain” which would ensure flowers/plants to be kept in
suitable environment from the moment they leave the fields
to when they reach the shelves. The development of the “cool
chain system” would not only increase shelf life of the
horticulture products but would also reduce exploitation of
growers in the hands of the buyers due to their perishable
The “cool chain system”
covering the whole country could save about the 40%
production that is wasted due to
absence of proper cold storage facilities and improper
handling. It is necessary that E.P.B. (export promotion
bureau) and PHDEB should evolve a plan of action to boost
production and exports.Although a cut flower farm is a
profitable and attractive venture.
The grower is still not
rewarded properly in financial term for this work. The
middleman or shopkeeper takes a major share of the profit.
Especially, shopkeeper enjoys the maximum margin. There is
an opportunity for a flower shopkeeper or exporter to set up
a business backed by this own cut flower farm.
An investor in the
floriculture sector can get maximum profit by making the
product value added for supplies to hotels as flower
baskets, bouquet, and bunch or for direct export. The
prospects are bright for the export value to double in a
very short time. And if quality standards are maintained,
the exporter will be able to command a premium price for
It is interesting to know the
Pakistan exports cut flowers, not only to the Gulf States
but even to Europe. The exporting of cut flowers from
Pakistan is still very much in its infancy as the necessary
infrastructure, such as cold-storage, is not yet fully in
place but it is still encouraging that this is now being
looked at seriously.
• Major problem hindering the exports are post harvest
• Lack of knowledge of markets.
• Absence of modern marketing techniques.
• Casualness about standardization and quality controls.
• Lack of shipping and air cargo facilities.
• High fright rates
• Lack of proper control of diseases and pests.
• Stiff competition in the foreign market.
• Government needs to strengthen the infrastructure
facilities for the treatment, transportation and storage of
flowers designed for export. It needs to work with the
existing Agencies in providing the much needed support to
their work in their areas given the perishable nature of
product, long transit time. In excess of 25 days for most
European ports seriously affecting the shelf life and
marketability of the product.
• If flower export has to be increased, new market would
have to be explored and an aggressive marketing approach
with unified negotiation strategy adopted, opening of new
market under the WTO (world trade organization) regime
opportunities for export of fresh flowers/plants.
The major advantages of
Pakistan over other flower exporting countries:
• Favorable agro climatic conditions
• Easy availability of land
• Cheap labour
• Proximity to markets in Japan, Pacific Rim, south -east
Asia and middle east countries which have a large growing
• In west, the biting cold of winter months curtails flower
production during fold. As this period is the prime
cultivation time in Pakistan, the potential is enormous.
• Cut rose flower fetch maximum price during first and last
quarter of the year, whereas, during 2nd and 3rd quarter,
prices is less. The Pakistani flowering season is during the
period from November to April; hence the produce will be
available in 1st and last quarters, thus commanding highest
prices in the international market.
Pakistan’s export of floriculture product is not
encouraging. The low performance is attributed to many
• Non availability of air space in major airlines, since
most of the airlines operators’ prefers heavy consignment.
• The existing numbers of lights during the peak seasons is
not sufficient for export purpose.
• Exporters for infrastructural problem like bad interior
road, inadequate refrigerated transport and storage
• Lack of professional backup of delivery and supporting
companies,which resort in to high cost of technology.
• Tedious phyto-sanitry certification and an unorganized
Solution of these
• In order to overcome these problems, attention must be
• Reduction in import duty on planting material and
• Air flight should be reduced to reasonable level.
• Sufficient cargo space may be provided in airlines.
• Establishment of model nurseries for supplying genuine
• Cooperation florist organization should be established at
• Training centers for diploma course for training the
personnel in floriculture should be setup.
• Exporters should be plan and monitors effective quality
control measures right from production to post
harvesting,storage and transportation.