Wednesday, March 26, 2008

India's share in the global flower market is... no more than 1-2%

"India's share in the global flower market is... no more than 1-2%...a sustained annual growth of around 10 per cent in the past several years, floriculture is emerging as a major growth segment in Indian agriculture.The export of flowers... has surged six-fold, from less than Rs 100 crore a year in the 1990s to over Rs 600 crore now. The area under flower cultivation has expanded rapidly, buoyed by an investment of over Rs 500 crore in this sector in past few years.According to the Economic Survey (2007-08), the acreage under flower cultivation has increased from 1,18,000 hectares in 2004-05 to 1,46,000hectares in 2005-06 and further to 1,54,000 hectares in 2006-07.Consequently, the production of flowers is estimated to have spurted from 659,000 tonnes in 2004-05 to over 886,000 tonnes by 2006-07. Many farmers, especially around the major cities, and in areas ideally suited for special categories of flowers, such as the north-east for orchid production, areshifting from food and other low-value, high-volume crops to growing flowers for better returns....the existence of large unexploited export potential, coupled with the anticipated fast growth of 6 to 7 per cent a year in the domestic demand for flowers, is likely to serve as a growth engine for the floriculture sector.The paucity of supportive infrastructure has been a major constraint in the development of floriculture in the past. Flowers... require specialisedpost-harvest handling, storage and transportation. Cold chains and dedicated transportation and cargo handling facilities are... needed for both domestic trade and export. Cold store facilities are desirable even at the export destinations to keep losses to a minimum."We have covered a lot of ground in the past 10 years in building up supportive infrastructure for the production, marketing and export offloriculture products..." says H P Singh, deputy director-general (horticulture) of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)...Thanks to rising incomes and urbanisation, the demand and consumption of flowers within the country is expected to grow at a faster pace from nowon. "The number of people who have the purchasing power to buy costly flowers is larger in India than in the UK," Singh points out. These are positive indications for the growth of floriculture as a niche segment of horticulture.Delhi has emerged as Asia's largest flower consumption centre, says Singh. But, the capital's main floriculture market still functions virtually from the pavements in the Connaught Place area, in the heart of the city.However, modern flower auction centres are proposed to be built in variouskey flower trading centres, notably Bangalore, Mumbai, Noida and Kolkata.... the one at Bangalore has already come up and... has becomeoperational...cold storage and cargo handling facilities, even if not entirely of international standards, have been created at several important airports, including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram and Cochin. Such facilities are also proposed to be set up at the Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Kolkata and Bagdogra airports.... the demand for... for cut flowers is a relatively recent phenomenon. Traditionally, marigold and roses have dominated the flower trade in thecountry. Of late, the trade has diversified with demand coming up for other bouquet-compatible flowers as well.Equally significant is the emerging demand for value-added floriculture products, including dry flowers, essences and other extracts. This isexpected to enhance the emergence of the flower-based processing industry and also add to the employment- and income-generation potential offloriculture. Orchids , in particular, are deemed to have a great future as India is a natural habitat of cymbidiums and dendrobiums, the most sought-after orchidspecies. The north-eastern region is fast coming up as the orchid-hub of the country. A little push, like transportation subsidy and similar othersops, can trigger an orchid revolution [wow ! green, local or global ?]."URL :

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