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Flower industry a multi-billion-peso business

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The cut flower industry in the Philippines has the makings of a multi-billion-peso enterprise if local growers find the money and technology to amp their output, experts say.

The Philippine flower production has the potential to become a multi-billion-peso industry amid the high demand from local and international markets, according to a New York-based floral designer.

Jerry Sibal, the New York-based events and floral designer who visited Manila to officially launch the first Philippine International Flower Show (PIFS), said the Philippine horticulture and floriculture sector could spur economic activities, support small businesses, generate more jobs and increase export revenues.

Sibal said this would be possible if the government and the private sector would work together toward this common goal.

The Philippine flower industry has grown over the past three decades because of high local and foreign demand, combined with the expansion of the tourism sector.

Data show that fresh cut flower exports posted sales of more than $370,000 annually from 1991 to 2000. Production, however, fell short of the rising domestic demand particularly on Valentine’s Day, Christmas, All Saint’s Day and school graduation, forcing the country to import flowers like orchids and chrysanthemums.

This was because local farmers and horticulturists need to build more greenhouses which require big investments. Flower production also requires technologies and agricultural chemicals that are usually imported from other countries.

Sibal said the PIFS will be held from 15 to 18 October 2020 at the Philippine International Convention Center to promote awareness on the local flower industry and bring together representatives from various groups and stakeholders — from farmers, agriculturists and florists to end-users like hotels and corporates, government representatives, private investors and technology providers.

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