Due to COVID-19, the demand on flowers has dropped dramatically, retail has almost stopped and the flower growers are forced to dispose of 1.2 million roses a day, announced The Association “Greenhouses of Russia”.
The president of the association, Mr. Aleksey Sitnikov explained that flower growing is a nonstop production.
“For instance, a rose bush is a part of production for 6-8 years and the flowers should be cut off from it from time to time in order for new cuttings to appear. If it is not done, the bush loses its productivity”, mentioned the expert.
Mr. Aleksey Sitnikov reminded that the expenses on daily flower care: nutrition, pest and disease protection, bush shaping etc. remain the same but the sales revenue has almost reached the zero.
Currently, there are 165 ha of flower growing greenhouses in Russia, 7,000 roses are cut on average per day of 1 ha, mentioned the vice-president of the association, Mr. Aleksandr Litvinenko via the press service. According to his estimate, the greenhouses therefore should dispose of 1.2 million roses a day and suffer tremendous losses.
Mr. Litvinenko suggested including flower growers in the list of spheres requiring state support because of the damage caused by the COVID-19 and the respective quarantine measure.
In the beginning of March, the National association of flower growers asked for the support from the government, such as cancelling the VAT increase up to 20% for flower growers as well as increasing customs duties on flower import up to 15%. They explained the need for such measures by the fact that they can hardly compete with the imported flowers and that without state support local rose production would have to be stopped.