PHL sets sights on $48-B cut flower market
The Philippines is increasing its production of cut flowers as the Department of Agriculture (DA) has included ornamentals in the list of the priority crops of the government’s high value crops development program (HVCDP).
Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar issued Memorandum Circular (MC) 09, which ordered the inclusion of ornamentals in HVCDP’s priority crops and the allocation of budget to boost the output of cut flowers.
Citing studies, Dar said the global market for the flower and ornamental plants was valued at $48.15 billion in 2020. The figure is expected to rise to $74.2 billion by 2026.
Citing figures from the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH), he said the Philippines is one of the “emerging domestic producers” of ornamental plants. Dar said the country is a net exporter of ornamentals, shipping $4.935 million worth of ornamentals to Netherlands, Japan, United States and other European countries in 2020.
He said the country’s local production of cut flowers, which represents the largest segment of the ornamental industry, grew by 3.5 percent from 2016 to 2020.
However, the growth of the domestic cut flower industry has been hampered by various factors.
“Despite the upward trend of cut flower production, high cost of structures like greenhouses, irrigation, and post-harvest facilities, unavailability of quality planting materials, insufficient production technology for new varieties or types of cut flowers, high credit interests and substantial shortage of supply for export hamper the growth potential of the ornamental industry,” he said.
“Various stakeholders, associations, and civil society organizations have constantly requested for the provision of the needed support for the industry stakeholders such as higher budget for ornamentals for its mass propagation, development of new varieties, improved production technologies, among others, and generation of more livelihood opportunities.”
Dar said the DA “recognizes the importance of providing support to the ornamentals industry and forge a consolidated effort with industry players to achieve economies of scale to make it globally competitive.”
He noted that the country has “vast potentials” for cut flower production due to its “favorable agro-climatic conditions” that allow year-round production of both tropical and subtropical varieties.
Dar has ordered the DA including its regional field offices, bureaus and attached agencies to ensure that the ornamental industry will receive an annual budget and adequate support to “increase production, farmers’ income and marketability in both domestic and international markets.”
The DA will provide support for the production of quality planting materials through the distribution of mother plants, establishment of production facilities, conduct of research for varietal improvement, and support in technology acquisition of post-harvest processing and packaging technology, to increase product shelf life and quality.
The DA will also conduct training on proper plant care, breeding, propagation techniques, post-harvest handling, and packaging as well as provision of support in local and international trade fair promotions.
In 2018, the BusinessMirror published a Broader Look story that looked into the state of the local cut flower industry. Industry players said they have been left behind as the DA has been focused on edible crops for food security, leaving stakeholders to their own devices to sustain the viability of the country’s cut flower production.
Among the problems identified by cut flower industry stakeholders were climate change, shrinking production areas, high logistical costs, low level of skills, and lack of government support.
Jasper y. Arcalas(2022, April 4). PHL sets sights on $48-B cut flower market. BusinessMirror. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1542174/ph-to-import-60k-tons-of-fish-to-cover-shortage