Pune: Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, (Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare) today visited the ICAR- Directorate of Floricultural Research at Pune, Maharashtra. The main objective was to discuss the Five year work plan for increasing production / area expansion and the implementation strategy for promoting floriculture in the country in cooperation with the State Governments / UTs.
Dr. Likhi reviewed the various activities in the Directorate of Floricultural research for which the Director made a detailed presentation. During these interactions senior management, scientists and other stakeholders of the institute were present.
Dr. Likhi emphasised that the five year work plan for increasing area / production and the implementation strategy to promote floriculture in the country must involve small and marginal farmers with the aim of providing them remunerative incomes.
To promote horticulture, State Governments / UTs seek funds from Government of India under Mission for Integrating Development of Horticulture (MIDH) on 60:40 sharing basis under their Annual Action Plans. Government of India has identified floriculture as a sunrise industry and accorded it 100% export oriented status. Owing to steady increase in demand of flower floriculture has become one of the important commercial trades in Agriculture. Hence commercial floriculture has emerged as hi-tech activity-taking place under controlled climatic conditions inside greenhouse. Floriculture in India is being viewed as a high growth Industry. Commercial floriculture is becoming important from the export angle. The liberalization of industrial and trade policies paved the way for development of export-oriented production of cut flowers. The new seed policy had already made it feasible to import planting material of international varieties. It has been found that commercial floriculture has higher potential per unit area than most of the field crops and is therefore a lucrative business. Indian floriculture industry has been shifting from traditional flowers to cut flowers for export purposes. The liberalized economy has given an impetus to the Indian entrepreneurs for establishing export oriented floriculture units under controlled climatic conditions.
The categories of the flowers includes traditional flowers- Rose, Shasta (Daisy), Statice (Sea Lavender), Rue, Sage (Clary Sage), Shirley (Poppy), Sunflower, Sky (Sunny Sky), Tansy etc. The category of cut flowers includes Ageratum, Allium, Aster, Black-Eyed Susan, Blazing Stars, Ranunculus, Carnations etc. The category of dry flowers includes Bunny Tails, Dried Ruscus, Cotton Stems, Dried Wheatgrass, Stirlingia, Straw Flowers, Dried Palm Fronds, Pampas Grass etc.
Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) is responsible for export promotion and development of floriculture in India. This sector offers opportunities for generating income and employment, especially for women. Noticeable advancements have been made in recent years in flower production, particularly, in the production of Cut Flowers, which have potential in terms of exports. The important flower growing States are Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka and Gujarat. A major part of the area under flower cultivation is devoted to the production of Marigold, Jasmine, Roses, Chrysanthemum, Tuberose, etc.