BACKGROUND OF FLORICULTURE SECTOR:
- The liberalised seed policy introduced in the late 1980s, coupled with the 1991 reforms.
- The policy paved the way for the advanced protected cultivation technology in floriculture.
- Since then, floriculture has been a potential money spinner and employment generator for farmers especially in rainfed areas, hilly regions, and arid zones.
- Floriculture has great scope in bio aesthetic planning, landscaping, and gardening, apart from applications in horticultural therapy.
- The main flower growing States are Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal.
- According to APEDA, India’s export of floriculture produce was 21,024 tonnes, valued at ₹708 crore in 2022-23.
- Indian floriculture industry comprises flowers such as Rose, Tuberose, Glads, Anthurium, Carnations, Marigold, etc.
ADVANTAGES OF FLORICULTURE:
- Floriculture does not require artificial lighting or heating for green house production of flowers owing to ample sunlight in India and moderate temperature during winter season.
- Also, India is strategically located between two major markets — Europe and East Asia.
- There is enormous potential to export flowers to temperate countries during the peak winter season.
- The government also identified floriculture as one of the export thrust areas.
- The European nations reduced import duty on floricultural products over time.
- Floriculture has tremendous scope for agripreneurship.
CHALLENGES IN FLORICULTURE SECTOR:
- Although the floriculture business has been growing in the world at 9 per cent per annum, India’s share in the international market is a miniscule 1 percent.
- While the Netherlands and Germany are leading producers of flowers, India holds the 14th rank.
- Inadequate infrastructure facilities like greenhouse/poly houses and cold chains, lack of quality consciousness among exporters, limited knowledge on advanced cultivation practices and absence of market intelligence.
- Besides, floriculture suffers from insufficient R&D expenditure especially on new varieties, advanced cultivation methods, postharvest management, etc.
STEPS NEEDED TO BE TAKEN:
- International air cargo facilities may be developed at catchment areas of production by leveraging UDAAN scheme of the government.
- Besides, the farmers can take advantage of various schemes of National Horticulture Mission.
- Ramping up cold storage facilities is also vital.
- Institutional (micro) finance may be improved to support farmers.
- Exports can be promoted through e-commerce, fairs/exhibitions, and international exposure visits.
- Indian floriculture sector is a wellspring of profit for all potential investors as new policies have paved the way for the development of export-oriented production of flowers and growth in the industry is revolutionary and inspiring.
SYLLABUS: MAINS, GS-3, AGRICULTURE