Coinciding with the birth anniversary of His Majesty The King, the fifth Royal Bhutan Flower Exhibition this year would be held in Samdrupjongkhar on February 21.

Preparation works for the exhibition are going on.

The committee headed by the Samdrupjongkhar thromde planted 1,710 saplings of plants and flowers around the town area yesterday.

The saplings that thrive in the southern climates such as portulaca, poinsettia, begonia, Queen of Bhutan rose, bougainvillaea and bauhunia among others were granted to the thromde as soelra from His Majesty The King.

His Majesty also granted 800 grams of various flower seeds to the thromde.

The thromde and stakeholders have been working on the Samrupjongkhar town for last seven months in preparation of the exhibition, along with the support from the volunteers. The main exhibition will be held at the thromde performance ground.

Samdrupjongkhar thrompon, Karma Sherab Thobgyal, said the thromde along with the stakeholders have prepared all the areas to keep it ready for the flower plantations since June last year, adding that the other activities related to the exhibition are under day and will be ready by the end of this month.

The preparation works include the preparation of the main site, development of permanent gardens throughout the Samdrupjongkhar town area and face-lifting works in the core town areas like repainting of the buildings.

“We have asked the house owners to have Bhutanese paintings so that our town resembles like a Bhutanese town and 90 percent of the face-lifting works are completed,” he said. “We are confident to say it’s ready to start the exhibition but we would also request the agriculture ministry to give us necessary technical backups as we lack some capacities.”

Agriculture secretary, Rinzin Dorji, said about eight nurseries have been established in Samdrupjongkhar and flowers are mostly raised in those nurseries, adding that some flowers were collected locally while some are purchased from private nurseries. “There are over 100,000 different flowers and plants.”

He said the buildings in the town and regional office compound walls should be repainted and waste management is also important. “The prominent features of the exhibition are permanent beautification and long term perennial plantations.”

He also asked the committee should also set up stalls and give one to traditional medicines so that the local healers can display and promote the medicinal herbs.

Rinzin Dorji said they should contact  the counterparts in Assam, India, to take part in the exhibition if they are interested.

According to a press release, Samdrupjongkhar was chosen for the exhibition because of the historic and geographic importance of the border town, which serves as one of the gateways to the country.

“Despite promoting the local economy in floriculture and supporting small business, the event also aims to galvanise town beautification,” it stated.

The press release also stated that the ministry of agriculture, thromde, government agencies, local government, corporations, private organisations, the business communities and armed forces are working to develop micro-gardens in strategic locations, the stakeholders will also develop 15 micro-gardens in 9.75 acres land.

The exhibition was initiated on the Royal Command in 2015 to foster an appreciation for beautiful spaces and encourage entrepreneurship in floriculture.

The agriculture ministry organises the exhibition.

The press release also stated that the exhibition would be held from February 21 to 27 and while it is free for Bhutanese, non-Bhutanese adults would have to pay Nu 300 adults. “Non-Bhutanese students will have to pay Nu 50 each to visit the exhibition and entry for non-Bhutanese children below five years would be free.”

Kelzang Wangchuk   | Samdrupjongkhar