Floriculture Industry: Perspectives and Challenges
Dr. Banarsi Lal
Floriculture is the fast emerging and high competitive industry. India stands second in the floriculture industry in the world after China with a total of about 2, 49,000 hectares area under flower cultivation. But India’s share in world trade is only 0.6%.Floriculture industry in India faces challenges in terms of production, marketing and export. It is growing at an annual growth rate of over 20%. India is rich in bio-diversity of ornamental crops. Floriculture is progressing rapidly in the country. The export of floriculture products have been growing from the last few years. Indian floriculture industry is facing a number of challenges related to infrastructure, production and marketing. India is rich in bio-diversity and varied agro-climatic regions. There is great impact of climate change on flowering plants particularly in commercial production under open field conditions. Flowers play a significant role in our life right from birth to death. Recently floriculture industry has been emerged as an important agri-business in India. In the last decade or so, in view of fast development of technology, to grow the good quality of flowers, their plucking, preservation and transportation not only inside India but abroad also, this activity has assumed the status as an important industry. In our country this industry has started flourishing on the scientific basis. This was possible because of good soil conditions, conducive weather conditions and availability of labour. The states mainly constituting the floriculture industry are Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andra Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra. With the advance research in floriculture the new varieties of flowers have been developed. The Union Territory like Jammu and Kashmir has immense scope of floriculture as it is blessed with some world famous religious spots like Shree Mata Vaishno Devi and Amaranth shrines.
Floriculture has become an important commercial activity for the farmers. This activity has been evolved as the viable and profitable alternative, with a potential to generate remunerative self employment among the farmers. In India the floriculture is not getting the priority as it deserves. It is an intensive type of agriculture. In floriculture income per hectare is much higher than many other agricultural products if it is done in a scientific way. We should not forget the aesthetic value of flowers in our daily life. Colorful flowers in the house compounds and in the parks really enhance the beauty of our homes, villages, towns and cities. Flowers bring the happiness in our life and boost the sagging spirits. Commercially floriculture increases the income of our farmers. If the government makes the cooperative societies for the flowers growers then the menace of middlemen can be eliminated. The cosmetic industries has also been encouraged which use wide varieties of floricultural products. The essential oils from different flowers such as rose, jasmine and tuberose used in the manufacture of cosmetics have very high price. The business of nursery in the floriculture industry can earn a lot of money for the rural people. One vital step in this industry is needed to certify the seeds and standardizing the nursery stocks.
It has been observed that the trade in cut flowers is on rise in which the main contribution is that of Europe, Japan and America. India has lot of scope in floriculture. It has been observed that rose varieties have the highest demand followed by Carnation and Chrysanthemum. As far as floriculture in India is concerned we have the advantage of winter when there is high demand of flowers in the European markets. Our cost of production is less. We have good soil and weather conditions which are conducive for the growth of flowers. All these factors indicate that there is immense scope of floriculture in India. Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) under the Ministry of Commerce is working as a nodal agency for exporting the flowers. This authority has helped in the establishment of South India Floriculture Association and Karnataka Agro-Industries Corporation. Some more centers are to be established at Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi. In many other states now the farmers are becoming aware about this rising industry. If we look our economy, our agriculture, horticulture and floriculture have attracted the attention of big investors. Indian Overseas Bank is providing the proper guidance, direction and information to the entrepreneurs. The Consultancy Department Of Indian Overseas Bank provides guidance to the corporate institutions, development institutions, financial institutions partnership companies and other societies. Floriculture requires higher level of information, economics and technology, the consultancy services in preparing the project reports, to prepare the market survey report, evaluation studies etc. National Horticulture Board under the Ministry of Agriculture has introduced many new schemes to encourage the floriculture industry. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has sponsored projects on Green House Technology for small scale farmers which were implemented at Srinagar, Bangalore and Pune. Cold storage facilities at many gateway airports to export the flowers have been set up. Encouraged by the success in this sector, several state governments have initiated their own developmental programmes.
For high quality of floriculture we primarily need the high quality plants which can give quality flowers. Market is another aspect in floriculture industry. For this purpose we need to develop quality nurseries in the villages which will help to create the employment in the rural areas. The global trade of flowers and their products are increasing at the rate of 10 per cent annually. Our government has specified certain areas which are considered conducive for the certain varieties of flowers. Roses, Chrysanthemum, Carnation, Tulip and Lily have lot of international demand. In cut flowers type of roses (90%) take the first place in production, while in developing countries contribution in the trade of flowers is 20%.Also there is lot of demand of seeds of the flowers. High-tech Tissue Culture Bio-technology is utilized to produce more and more seeds. Our country has favourable weather conditions for floriculture and we have a good opportunity for exporting the flowers. The main exporting countries are the USA, UK, Italy and Germany. To produce the quality flowers we have to grow them under the controlled conditions. For this purpose we can use the green houses. Green house is a framed structure made up of either cane wood or steel. The transparent and translucent plastic materials are used. In such green houses the temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide are fully controlled which creates the conginial atmosphere for the growth of the plants. The advantage of green house is that only the conducive radiation which is required for the plant is passed through the sheet while the harmful radiation is trapped. Those farmers who are interested to grow the flowers under green houses should consult with the qualified floriculture expert having good knowledge of plant engineering, production and market aspects also. Presently we have many high tech floriculture projects in operation all over the nation. If we look at the potential of floriculture industry, it can be said that there is need of skilled and unskilled persons right from planting the plants, plucking the flowers ,their storage and their transportation in different local and international markets so that ultimately they can be reached to the consumers as fresh as they are plucked from the field. The process involved in the floriculture industry requires the latest technologies. For this purpose the farmers who are interested to flourish this industry should be trained and necessary infrastructure facilities should be provided to them. Looking at the scope of floriculture industry special training institutes should be set at the village level so that the farmers can be trained for the floriculture projects. These kinds of projects will create employment for the rural people and ultimately the economic status of the farmers can be improved.
(The writer is Sr. Scientist & Head of KVK, Reasi (SKUAST-J).