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Live Potted Plants are lucrative Export Items in Horticulture

 

The offering and exchange of flowers on all social occasions, in places of worship and their use for adornment of hair by women and for home decoration have become an integral part of human living. With changing life styles and increased urban affluence, floriculture has assumed a definite commercial status in recent times and during the past 2-3 decades particularly. 

Appreciation of the potential of commercial floriculture has resulted in the blossoming of this field into a viable agri-business option. Availability of natural resources like diverse agro-climatic conditions permit production of a wide range of temperate and tropical flowers, almost all through the year in some part of the country or other. Improved communication facilities have increased their availability in every part of the country. The commercial activity of production and marketing of floriculture products is also a source of gainful and quality employment to scores of people.

As commercial floriculture is an activity which has assumed importance only in recent times, there are not many large farms engaged in organised floriculture. In most part of the country flower growing is carried out on small holdings, mainly as a part of the regular agriculture systems.

The estimated area under flower growing in the country is about 65,000 hectares. The major flower growing states are Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh in the South, West Bengal in the East, Maharashtra in the West and Rajasthan, Delhi and Haryana in the North. More than two thirds of this large area is devoted for production of traditional flowers, which are marketed loose e.g. marigold, jasmine, chrysanthemum, aster, crossandra, tuberose etc. The area under cut flower crops (with stems) used for bouquets, arrangements etc. has grown in recent years, with growing affluence and people’s interest in using flowers as gifts.

Indian nursery and dried flowers exporter will finally break into a niche market dominated so far by China and Europe – export of live potted plants. The production conditions are stringent to meet European norms and this has been a major hurdle for nurseries. A few small exporters now cater to West Asia. But, for the first time, an Indian exporter is targeting developed markets in Europe.

In the southern port city of Tuticorin, based  Ramesh FlowersPvt Ltd.,,will soon start supply of live potted plants to a multi-national retailer which is also starting operations in India. The 220-crore company is a leading exporter of home fragrances, home decor and dry flower arrangements. Ramesh Flowers is expanding its range of businesses in the home decor segment. it formally announced a partnership with Gala-Kerzen of Germany company backed by an European equity fund, Equistone, has acquired a 70 percent stake in Ramesh Flowers, a 600-crore manufacturer of ornamental and fragrance candles.

Mahendra Raj Singhwi, Chairman and Managing Director, Ramesh Flowers , said it has tied up with a nursery in Hassan, Karnataka, where the potted plants will be produced and then nurtured at its own facility for 45 days before being shipped out in reefer containers. The company will initially supply areca palms, popular indoor ornamental plants, for the retailer’s domestic and overseas markets. But enquiries are on for 26 more varieties including orchids and lucky bamboo, which are also popular in local markets and are now being imported from China.

According to Satyendra K Gutgutia, Partner, Florence Flora, which will be producing the plants, a lot of care has to go into the quality of soil and other medium like cocopeat, there are also strong regulations on the kind of chemical inputs.The nursery has been working with Ramesh Flowers for over a year now and initially the plants will be sold in the domestic outlets and exports will start in a year’s time.

 

Chander Mohan

Krishi Jaagran/New Delhi



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