Floriculture – A blooming business of income generation, with special reference with NE India

Floriculture: A booming sector
Floriculture: A booming sector

Floriculture is the aesthetic branch of horticulture that deals not only with the cultivation of different plans (i.e. ornamental, annuals, biennials, and perennial plants) but also their marketing. This also includes marketing for local, distant markets and export of cut flowers, live plants and their economic products like scents, oil, medicines etc.

There is a great increase in demand of floricultural products with increasing income and globalisation of economy. Globally 171 countries practice floriculture. India occupies 51st position in terms of exports and contributes Rs. 455 cores which is 0.06% of global trade. Top ten importing countries for Indian flowers are USA, Netherlands, Germany, UK, UAE, Japan, Canada, Italy, Australia and China.

The North-Eastern Region of the country has for long been recognized as nature’s gift to the country in view of the wealth of ornamental plants. The availability of this native wealth made people regard this region to have considerable potential for floriculture development. A study of the region and its inherent strengths makes one realize the tremendous negative approaches adopted in this regard. There has not been any serious or sincere effort made by
the government either at centre or in any of seven states of the region to exploit the tremendous potential that truly exists there. On the contrary, the continuous erosion of the natural wealth by unscrupulous people through collection of plants from forests and their trading in the country and abroad, has encouraged negative commercialization of floriculture from the region.

While occurrence of beautiful natural flora in the region has led to a love for ornamental plants in the region, its easy availability has resulted in very low appreciation of their economic value among the people. The region abounds in wealth of Orchids, Rhododendrons, Primulas, various kinds of Lilies etc., but till date no attention has been paid to using these material for any scientific conservation, improvement and exploitation of its commercial worth.

Favourable factors or floriculture Industries in NE India

There is very little organised production of flowers or other floriculture products in any state in India and floriculture is yet to graduate from the hobby growing to a commercial activity. In spite of this, India has some favourable factors which can act as agents for growing floriculture industries.


In view of its spread from the tropical to extra-tropical regions and diversities in physiographic conditions, India experiences a varied type of agro ecological conditions. The seven states – Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Meghalaya having hill and dales topography constitute the northeast India. Except the southern half of Mizo hills, the entire regions lies within the sub-tropical belts.

As a part of South East Asia, the climate of Northeast is obviously southeast Asiatic monsoon. The weather and climate of North East India is however itself a type – which is not comparable with the other parts of the subcontinent. This distinctive weather and climatic quality, physiography, the alternating pressure cells in North-West and North-East and Bay of Bengal; their periodic oscillations; predominance or maritime tropical air masses (Mt.) and local mountain and valley winds. Due to its peculiar physiographical made up and ineffective Northeast Monsoon, the climate of different parts has assumed regional characters. There have not been much serious attempts at delineation of the entire region into specific agro-climatic zones.


The varied climate of NE India makes it most suitable for growing flowers in one part or the other so that flowers can be produced the year round. For example, roses, gladiolus, carnation, chrysanthemum, etc. are successfully grown in northern plains during winter months, whereas during summer months these can be grown in the hills.


Like climate, the soil of different climatic zones is very favourable for growing different types of flowers. Suitable soil pockets can also be selected for growing of glower.


Comparatively cheap and easily available labour in India is another favourable factor for rowing flowers at cheaper rate. The labourers are employed for plucking flowers, emasculation, pollination seed collection and cleaning operations. Other facilities like transport and storage are also adequately available.

Status of floriculture in NE India

There is tremendous knowledge gap for effective commercialization of floriculture activity in the region as a whole. In spite of close proximity to the seven states, there is hardly any interstate technology sharing or transfer. Each state has their own ideas for floriculture development, but that too has failed to grow due to low priority in terms of resource allocation. The present area under floriculture in the seven North Eastern States is 1173 ha of which Assam itself accounts for 55 per cent share. The major floriculture crops grown in different states are Assam (Marigold, Tuberose, Gladiolus, Orchids and Rose), Arunachal Pradesh (Cymbidium), Manipur (Gladiolus, Anthurium), Tripura (Marigold), Mizoram (Rose, Anthurium), Nagaland (Cymbidium, Gladiolus) and Meghalaya (Cymbidium and Gladiolus).


There are only a few organized sector commercial floriculture units in the region such as ICL Flora Exotica, Guwahati, Nana-Koo Agro Pvt. Ltd., Ziro-Hapoli and Oriental Orchids Ltd. (tissue culture unit), Imphal. North-Eastern council, which could have been the common nodal agency to network the local efforts to obtain meaningful results, has played very weakrole, perhaps due to their priority of general / civic infrastructure development.

The region has one State Agricultural University (Assam) and a Central Agricultural University (Manipur) and a network of ICAR Research Centres for providing the technology support, though at present little floriculture technology is available with them.

Potential Areas for Floriculture Products

The potential areas and floriculture products identified for development of commercial floriculture in the North Eastern Region are as follows:



Potential                           Areas Recommended

Plants Recommended



Dendrobium,              Rose,                                    Tuberose,

Chrysanthemum, Anthurium


Hajo and Kulhati

Gladiolus, Anthurium, Tuberose


Nagaon / Sonitpur

Rose, Gladiolus, Gerbera



Rose Silchar Gladiolus, Chrysanthemum






Rose, Gladiolus, Tuberose


Upper      Shillong                /


Cymbidium, Carnation


Barapani / Umiam

Carnation, Gladiolus, Lilium

Arunachal Pradesh


Cymbidium, Gladiolus, Lilium



Dendrobium / Vandas, Anthurium, Foliage




Cymbidium, Gladiolus, Lilium


Tawang / Dirang




Gladiolus, Cymbidium



Anthurium, Gladiolus, Dendrobium, Foliage




Cymbidium, Gladiolus



Cymbidium, Gladiolus



Cymbidium, Gladiolus



Dry Flowers, Gerbera, Gladiolus



Gladiolus, Dendrobium, Carnation



Gladiolus, Anthurium



Gladiolus, Anthurium



Chrysanthemum,      Gladiolus,                                  Anthurium,



Udaipur                          (South


Chrysanthemum, Gladiolus



Chrysanthemum, Gladiolus



Rose, Anthurium, Gladiolus



Rose, Anthurium



Anthurium, Gladiolus

Infrastructure Transport and Marketing

There are only a few organized sector commercial floriculture units in the region such as ICL Flora Exitica, Guwahati, Nana-Koo Agro Pvt. Ltd., Ziri-Hapoli and Oriental Orchids Ltd.

(Tissue culture unit), Imphal. The supporting infrastructure for commercial floriculture is presently lacking in the region. The region has one State Agricultural University and a Central Agricultural University (Assam) and a Central Agricultural University (Manipur) and a network of ICAR Research Centres for providing the technology support, though at present little floriculture technology is available with them. Lack of proper transport facilities in one of the major reasons for a poor level of commercial floriculture activity in the region. There are a number of National Highways in the region connecting the state capitals. The rail network in the region is mainly concentrated in the state of Assam. AAI and NEC have together been funding up gradation of these airports. Guwahati airport is the only airport in the region with night landing facilities. The market infrastructure in the region is very poor. There are no integrated post-harvest management facilities, collection centres or auction centres. In many states, there are no retail markets for flowers, even the major market related activities are confined primarily to the respective state capitals. The only active flower markets in the region are Sukreshwar Ghat (Guwahati) and Ima Market (Imphal). There are no cold storages for flowers in the region.


  1. Lack of reliable database on floricultural crops

  2. Lack of uniform land tenure system and ownership right

  3. Non-availability of quality seeds and planting materials

  4. Necessary inputs like advanced technology, credit and transport facilities, fertilizers, pesticides, farm implements and tools and irrigations are not easily available to the growers at reasonable prices

  5. Lack of adequate infrastructure facilities for quick disposal of the produce in the market

  6. Floricultural crops have not been included with the overall land use planning

  7. Inadequate support to postharvest management including grading, storage, marketing and processing

  8. Poor extension and training efforts in the sector


  1. Production of quality floriculture produce and maintenance of its standards with active participation of research

  2. Infrastructure development including roads for floriculture units, electric supply, water, cold storage at airport and training of custom officials for faster and careful clearance

  3. Development of HYV of flowers and ornamental plants for domestic market

  4. Pest management at blooming period through indigenous research and knowledge

  5. Development of floriculture and establishment of at least on model village of floriculture near urban area supported with modern sale centres at nearby city and linkage with APEDA for export

  6. Emphasis on commercialization of flowers like rose, carnation, chrysanthemum, orchid, gladiolus, anthurium, lily, bird of paradise, gerbera, dry flowers, live plants and micro propagated plants through protected cultivation and creation of other infrastructural facilities

  7. Identification of product/region as intensive floriculture zone along with the availability of large scale planting materials and post- harvest facilities to provide technical and economical support to farmers

  8. In-situ and ex-situ conservation and propagation of nearly 175 endangered species of orchids available in the region.

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