In Bangladesh where almost 1/3rd of the 160 million population survives on only $1.25 per day, flowers are helping people in Bangladesh to rise out of poverty.
Only ten years ago in the town of Bogra (300 kms from the capitol Dhaka) there were no flower markets, now there is one with over a dozen stalls, with more stalls set up on the towns sidewalks.
One of these vendors, Montu Miah, says “The flower business is growing fast and becoming more popular everyday”. When Montu started selling flowers 15 years ago he was earning $1.35 a day, now his daily income has soared to 30 times that. Montu is not alone in his success.
The country used to import it’s flowers, but now that they have become so popular they are an exporter of flowers. Presently exporting $8 million in flowers a year and sales are increasing. In fact, they are having trouble meeting export demands as domestic use of flowers is also rapidly growing. As a result, People in the countryside who used to grow rice and other food crops are now growing flowers instead as they are more profitable.
The people of Bangladesh always liked flowers but the cost put them out of reach of the average citizen. Now that they are “home grown” Bangladeshis are embracing flowers in their everyday lives. One traditional proverb says: “Buy food if you can manage some money, then go for flowers if you can spare any of it”.