Floriculture, an important branch of horticulture involves the cultivation of flowers and it includes ornamental gardening and landscaping. Gardening for aesthetic purposes has also been a part of the Indian community with special emphasis on cut flowers. This is an emerging economic field and has been in the forefront in the recent years. Many industrialists and business houses too have expanded their business in the line. The high-tech floriculturists grow flowers under controlled conditions mainly to cater to the demands of the fast expanding international market. Floricultural products constitute a small but important segment of the international trade. These are high value products that are used for their beauty and elegance and they reap very high economic returns when compared to other agricultural and horticultural products.
The floriculture industry in the world showed a dramatic increase in growth during the 1970’s and 1980’s. The increase in floral products is attributed to standard of living of the people. The major cut flowers that are in demand in the international market are roses, chrysanthemum, carnations, tulips, gerberas, alstroemerias etc. Many new types of flowers like anthuriums, aster, asclepias, spray carnation, gypsophila, liatris, limonium, heliconia etc. that are entering the flora trade.
Over the past decade, flower and pot plant business in the world has increased to US $ 40 billion. The annual rate of growth in the floriculture industry is about 15 percent. The floricultural products include cut flowers, which contribute about60 percent of the global trade, flowering and green potted plants and bedding plants from a small segment of the floricultural crop production worldwide. India’s share in this global floriculture market is around 0.75%.
There are clear signs that India would soon play an important role in the world trade of flowers. With the liberalization of economic policies and identification of floriculture as one of the thrust areas by the Government opportunities offered by the large global market. In view of the potential for exports, a large number of export oriented units have been approved by the Government of India and many projects have been commissioned in recent years. Domestic market can absorb the non-exportable grades.
To reduce the capital cost and cost of production, it is desirable to establish export oriented units so that concessions on import of capital goods and other consumables can be availed of. J&K State, which has the agro-climate conditions suitable for various varieties of flowers, can be a good source of production and supply of the quality cut flowers to the domestic and international market.
State of Jammu & Kashmir have ideal climatic conditions for floriculture. The climate of the three regions of the State viz. Jammu, Kashmir and Leh are Sub – tropical, temperate and cold – arid. In J&K State this activity is in vogue mainly in the form of beautification of existing gardens / parks in the State. Department of Garden, Parks and Floriculture develop and maintain parks and gardens at suitable locations to upgrade the aesthetic value. The department is contributing significantly by adding new varieties of flowers and beautification plants in existing gardens and parks. Some potential areas are being developed as demonstration units by the department. State Government proposes to invest an amount of Rs. Crores during 9th Five-year plan for the development of this sector. The State intends to propagate floriculture as an important economic activity and hence thrust on its commercial exploitation.
The Department of Garden, Parks and Floriculture is providing technical know-how support for plantation and proper maintenance of plants and also by way of setting up demonstrative parks therein growing greenhouse seedlings, and helps in commercializing this activity through:
Supply of other inputs at Subsidized rate and Market Support
The demonstrative units are set up to establish the technical feasibility of the proposal. Training Facilities include providing know how about setting up of green houses and maintaining them, proper growth of cut flowers, handling equipment, post harvest treatment of cut-flowers and the packaging practices. The department also provides subsidy on purchase of bulb for gladilieus and Tulips (50% of its cost) for the maximum purchase of 2000 bulbs by individual private grower.
Department also guides and assist the entrepreneurs in marketing of the cut flowers. Department has linkage with departments and institutions engages in marketing of floriculture products at National and International level including Agriculture product Export Development Agency (APEDA), New Delhi.
J&K State Industrial Development Corporation extends the promotional support as well as commercial banks / NABARD provides financial assistance for floriculture project.
25 number of floriculture growers has set up their units under the technical guideline and supervision by the experts of the Department. The marketing of cut-flowers could be tied up in European and Gulf Countries where demand of Lily, Rose, Tata Rose, Gladilieus cut flower and other varieties is quite high, The State of Jammu and Kashmir has suitable climate conditions to grow the flowers on commercial lines for National and International markets. Under green house polyhouse conditions, the flowers can be grown through out the year.
The main varieties, which are grown in the State, include Gladilieus, Roses, Tata Roses, Lilly, Tulip, Hyceanthus, Carnation etc. Details pertaining to growing different varieties and suitable locations are as under:
This variety could be grown for cut – flower purposes in both Jammu and Kashmir regions. It is grown ideally within 90 days from the date of seeding of tuber. Ideal locations for cultivation are Jammu, Kud, Chenani, Poonch and Rajouri Districts in Jammu and Srinagar, Budhgam and Anantnag in Kashmir region. In Leh region such flowers can be grown under greenhouse cultivation. The total production of this variety of cut – flowers in the State is estimated at about one lakh numbers.
Rose is grown in the month of November starts production from the month of April. Such plant can be grown in greenhouses under controlled temperature between 20 Deg. C. to 30 Deg. C. and also in open field. The output of Roses in greenhouses is around double compared to open field cultivation. The rose flower output is very less in comparison to its existing demand.
The demand for this variety of flowers emanates from as well as Delhi and Mumbai markets during Christmas. The bud is ready within 75 days. The suitable locations are Panchari, Sudhmahadev (during winter), Poonch and Rajouri (during summer) in Jammu region and Srinagar, Budhgam, Pulwama in Kashmir region. The production could be carried out through out the year in Jammu region for 3 to 4 months in Kashmir. The demand is more than 1.5 lakh to 2 lakhs tubes and presently only 10 thousand bulbs is grown in the State.
This variety of flower is grown in Kashmir Region of the State. It is sown in the month of July or August and its spike is ready in around 70 to 75 days time. The spike can be kept for 8 – 9 days and mostly sold during the Christmas. About 40 to 50 thousand tubes is grown and some no. Of spikes are exported to Delhi Market from Kashmir region. However, demand is very high compared to its supply.
Its production in the State is merged. The potential for the growth of this variety is available in the State. Kashmir, Leh and hilly regions in Jammu, Doda, Poonch district of Jammu region. More than 3 to 3.5 lakhs tubes could be grown in the three locations of State.
There is an increasing demand of this variety of flowers by the visiting pilgrims (more than 4.2 millions) at Vaishno Devi Ji. Its total production is estimated at 600 to 700 quintals and unfulfilled demand of the State is of the order of 800 quintals. This variety of flowers are exported during the month of October to November from the State and imported to the State from Delhi etc. in July and August.
The practice of floriculture cultivation of commercial scale is at its initial stage by individual growers. The agro climatic conditions of the State are quite suitable for the propagation of the floriculture in the State either on open or through greenhouse technology. Floriculture is popularizing this activity and some strong initiatives by way of hi-tech floriculture project based on greenhouse.
The State of Jammu and Kashmir is quite rich in horticulture sector. This state has a large area under horticulture production and a variety fruits like apple, guava, cherry, pears, plum, apricot, walnut and almonds are grown all over the state.