I am back now from Greater Noida and this year’s ICMC, which was organized with the usual efficiency and passed off with great success. My paper was on Cut Flowers in Kathmandu and written after interviews during my visit to Nepal earlier this year, just before the earthquake.
As ever, the conference was distinguished by the presentation of the conference book (in two volumes) during the conference itself.
Walsh, John, “Cut Flowers in Kathmandu: From Local Gardens to International Markets?” in G.D. Sardana and Tojo Thatchenkery, eds., Optimizing Business Growth: Strategies for Scaling up (New Delhi: Bloomsbury Publishing India Pvt. Ltd., 2015), pp.62-9.
Nepal is a landlocked country that shares a long, open border with India to the south, with which it shares numerous cultural, social, religious and economic similarities. The open border means that Indian citizens can freely pursue business opportunities in Nepal and vice versa. However, the poor infrastructure in the country means that export opportunities are limited. This is the case with cut flowers, which are grown for local consumption and primarily for festivals and by hotels and restaurants. If transportation infrastructure were better, it might be more feasible to diversify production for international markets. Additionally, if the local market were to be developed further, it would become feasible to add some value to existing varieties produced for the market. This case investigates the example of a small cut flower business close to Kathmandu as a means of analyzing commercial opportunities in the capital and its environs and the prospects for linking local enterprises more closely with international markets. Constraints to growth are identified in the forms of intensive price competition, limited market development and technical capacity. Options for improving the situation are discussed.
Keywords: cut flowers, market development, Nepal, price competition, technical capacity