IPOH: An extremely cold weather in Cameron Highlands and farmers switching from growing flowers to greens have caused the supply of fresh flowers down by more than 50%.
Consumers may end up buying more expensive imported fresh flowers to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, according to farmers in Cameron Highlands.
Change of weather and lockdown measures have prompted farmers to switch from growing flowers to vegetables during the last two years.
Cameron Highlands Floriculturists Association president Lee Peng Fo said lower fresh flower production was due to the lack of sunlight and extremely cold weather in January.
“Roses and tulips are now imported from India and China to cope with the reduced supply here,” he said.
Lee estimated that prices of imported flowers would be twice those grown in Cameron Highlands.
“The entire world is racing to buy roses now and the price is pushed so high. The West also promotes sunflowers and anthuriums but these flowers are not popular in Asia for Valentine’s Day,” he said.
Another farmer in Cameron Highlands, Liu Jian Long said many had switched from planting roses to greens during the lockdown several years back.
Only five farmers are growing roses in Cameron Highlands now, he said.
“The low temperature and lack of sunlight here have reduced the flower production,” he said.
Due to insufficient supply of roses, local florist shops have been importing roses over the past ten years, he said.
Liu supplies sunflowers, lilies, chrysanthemums and other flowers for the local market.
He said other flowers are unable to replace roses on Valentine’s, and the price of a stalk of rose has since shot up.