Kathmandu, Oct. 16: The people of Gundu in Suryabinayak Municipality of Bhaktapur are now busy picking up Mahakhamali flower as the festival of Tihar is approaching soon. The flower is in high demand especially for Bhai Tika during the festival of Tihar. Suryabinayak Municipality has expected to produce Mahakhamali and Marigold flowers worth about Rs. 200 million. Bhola Raut, resident of Dadhikot, who has been in floriculture business for the last five years, said that they were now busy picking and weaving the garland of Mahakhamali flower. Starting with the Shrawan month, the locals started picking the flower and they pick up the flowers for more than three times in one season. But Raut started picking the flower just a month ago and have prepared 1500 garlands for sell. “Our plan is to prepare around 30,000 garlands for this year. Around 30,000 garlands were sold last year at Rs. 20 per garland. But this year, we are trying to sell it at Rs. 30 to 35 per garland,” he said. According to him, he has planted Makhamali flower in eight annas of land. He and his wife have engaged in floriculture business. After picking up the flower they weave the garland and stored it at cold room to keep the flowers fresh till Tihar. This year, the locals have planted more marigold flowers than last year. The municipality office this year has given Rs. 400,000 in subsidy for the famers engaged in floriculture. The Agriculture Co-operative Limited has produced the seedlings and distributed them to around 680 farmers, said Ram Chandra Sapkota, agriculture department chief of the municipality. Around 300 seedlings were distributed to each professional farmer and 30 to 30 seedlings for other small-scale businesses. The distributed seedlings are hydride. Local earned around Rs. 800 to Rs.1, 000 from each marigold plant. Sarita Kunwar, local of Gundu, said that locals were attracted towards marigold flower business. The demand of Makhamali flower is high only in Tihar festival but the demand of marigold is in all season. They have not received handsome income last year from Makhamali flower. So, locals were attracted towards marigold business, she said. Gundu-7 and Dadhikot-4 of the municipality are known for commercial floriculture. Flowers are grown in around 50 hectares of land of Gundu and Dadhikot. Around 100 hectares of land is used to grow flowers in Bhaktapur, according to the municipality. The farmers used to plant the flowers at the land separated for household kitchen but now they are attracted to commercial floriculture which has made them capable to earn more in a short span of time.