Gadkhali: flower hub reemerging from pandemic woes

As the dawn breaks, agricultural fields in Gadkhali, a remote village in the southwest district Jashore, unfold themselves with abundance of colours, calling upon nature lovers to come inside and feel the beauty of nature. And nature lovers promptly respond. Anyone visiting the locality during this winter period would notice it easily. Fields buzz amid presence of flower lovers since early morning and the crowd continues to grow as the day wears on.

Flowers are as far as the eye can see! From marigolds, cosmos, daisy gypsies, roses, gladioli, tuberoses, gerbera, dahlias to chrysanthemums, all decorate the fields which, apart from becoming a source of celestial beauty, provide livelihoods to tens of hundreds of farmers in the region.

Every day, nearly 10,000 tourists from neighbouring districts and other parts, including Dhaka visit the locality to see eye-catching flower fields, which also offer a source of income for the locals. Floriculture, which began a couple of decades ago in this locality, is the biggest source of flowers used to celebrate social, cultural and national festivals in the country today.

Some 42 local and foreign varieties of flowers are grown commercially in 625 hectares area in 35 villages of Jashore. About 6,500 farmers and 100,000 workers are involved in floriculture here, said Badal Chandra Biswas, deputy director of the Department of Agricultural Extension in Jashore. Farmers said production and demand of flowers increased and prices of flowers were also higher this season than the previous winter. If this trend continues, many of them would be able to make up their pandemic caused losses.

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