ISLAMABAD (APP) Pakistan has a lot of potential to develop floriculture, but lack of attention by the concerned authorities has prevented growth in this sector, a leading researcher and exporter said on Monday. The market demand of floriculture products is growing fast. The worldwide trade with more than 10 countries dominating the business. There is a constant increase in its acreage under various flower crops said by Chief Executive Officer Harvest Tradings Ahmad Jawad in a statement issued here Monday. Ahmad Jawad said that Pakistan is a country of small farming households, where floriculture is the best option to enhance the income for the poor. We have favorable climate and cheap labour for growing these crops. They need much less land and water for production than other crops, he said. Net profit against the investment is much higher for these crops compared with other conventional crops, he said. The products are in high demand all over the world, he added. There is lack of resources and skilled persons to develop the floriculture industry up to international standard, he observed. He said Pakistan had negligible share in worldwide floriculture trade despite having fertile lands and best irrigation system to venture in this enterprising business which not only generates rural employment, but also fetches precious foreign exchange. Pakistan has export potential in the global markets like UAE, Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation and European Union, he added. This is because in Pakistan majority of flowers are produced in winter while Europe yields low production in the same season due to snow. Since most of religious and traditional occasions are held in this period, it serves as an excellent opportunity for Pakistan to promote floriculture sector to fulfill the demand of European markets. Eight countries export 74 percent of the value of the worlds floriculture crops of the Netherlands, Columbia, Israel, Italy, Belgium, Denmark and the United States. More than 50 percent of the floriculture products come from the Netherlands. If we compare the resources of Pakistan with the Netherlands, we have an area 20 times larger, manpower 9 to 10 times bigger and better climate, soil and irrigation system. What we are lacking is modern production technology, he added. Jawad said policy makers need to draw upon the experience of other countries. Our production and marketing need to be streamlined in accordance with their policies. In order to compete with the world, we need to study the economic trends, such as shortage or over-supply of some flower species in particular seasons, as such factors result in changes in prices that may become too low to grow them economically, he said. Pakistan, mostly a fresh flower market, is almost flooded with roses, a flower preferred in all types of ceremonies, as well as in perfume industry and in many Auravedic and Greek medicine preparations. Other flowers making a debut in the fresh flower business here include tuberose, tulip, lily, jasmine, gladioli and even orchid and other less popular and therefore, less important varieties State Bank of Pakistan has issued directives to banks for issuing soft loans in order to boost this industry. Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd (ZTBL), he said can play an important role for boosting the sector in the country.