The Philippines is increasing its cut flower production as the Department of Agriculture (DA) has included ornamentals in the list of priority crops under the government’s High Value Crop Development Program (HVCDP).
Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar issued Circular Memorandum (MC) 09, which directed the inclusion of ornamentals as HVCDP priority crops and the allocation of a budget to increase flower production cut.
Citing studies, Dar said the global market for flowering and ornamental plants was valued at $48.15 billion in 2020. This figure is expected to reach $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 was a net exporter of ornamentals, shipping $4.935 million worth of ornamentals to the Netherlands, Japan, the 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, increased by 3.5% between 2016 and 2020.
However, the growth of the domestic cut flower industry has been hampered by various factors.
“Despite the increasing trend in cut flower production, the high cost of structures such as greenhouses, irrigation and post-harvest facilities, unavailability of quality planting material, insufficient production technology to new varieties or types of cut flowers, high credit interest and substantial shortage of supply for export are hampering the growth potential of the ornamental industry,” he said.
“Various stakeholders, associations and civil society organizations have consistently called for the provision of necessary support to industry stakeholders, such as a higher budget for ornamental plants for their mass propagation, development of new varieties, l improving production technologies, among others, and generating more livelihood opportunities.
Dar said the DA “recognizes the importance of providing support to the ornamental plant industry and forging a consolidated effort with industry players to achieve economies of scale to make it competitive globally. global scale”.
He noted that the country has “vast potentials” for the production of cut flowers due to its “favorable agro-climatic conditions” which allow year-round production of tropical and subtropical varieties.
Dar directed the DA, including its regional offices, offices and attached agencies, to ensure that the ornamental industry receives an annual budget and adequate support to “increase production, farmers’ incomes and marketing on national and international markets.
The DA will provide support for the production of quality plant material through the distribution of mother plants, the establishment of production facilities, the conduct of research for varietal improvement and support for the acquisition of breeding technologies. post-harvest processing and packaging, to increase the shelf life of products. and quality.
The DA will also arrange training on proper plant care, breeding, propagation techniques, post-harvest handling and packaging, as well as providing support in local and international trade fair promotions.
In 2018, the BusinessMirror published a Broader Look story that examined the state of the local cut flower industry. Industry players said they have been left behind as the DA has focused on edible crops for food security, leaving stakeholders on their own to keep the country’s cut flower production viable.
Some of the issues identified by cut flower industry players include climate change, shrinking production areas, high logistics costs, low skill levels and lack of government support. (Related story: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2018/08/08/climate-change-land-lack-nip-floriculture-sector-in-the-bud/).