Floriculture – The Traditional Flower Cultivation
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Commercial floriculture has been of recent origin though the traditional flower cultivation has been going on for centuries. Emphasis has been shifting from traditional flowers to cut flowers for export purposes. The liberalisation of economy since 1991-92 has given an impetus to the Indian entrepreneurs for establishing export oriental floriculture unit under controlled climatic conditions. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana have emerged as major floriculture centres in recent times. At present the total area under floriculture cultivation is about 73,970 ha. with a production of 4.60 lakh tonnes of loose flowers and 1155 lakh (numbers) of cut flowers.
Department of Agriculture and Cooperation under the Ministry of Agriculture is the nodal organisation responsible for development of the floriculture sector. It is responsible for formulation and implementation of national policies and programmes aimed at achieving rapid agricultural growth through optimum utilization of land, water, soil and plant resources of the country. The Horticulture Division in the Department of Agriculture and Co-operation is vested with the responsibility of overseeing the overall accelerated development of the sector. It has been set up with a mandate to implement the programmes for improving the production, productivity and utilisation of horticultural crops, support and formulate policies aimed for accelerated growth of horticulture, facilitate the availability of disease free planting material and seeds of horticultural crops, provide the leadership and co-ordinate activities for the promotion of horticulture, etc.
Several schemes have been initiated by the Government for promotion and development of the floriculture sector. Integrated Development of Commercial Floriculture is one such scheme implemented with the objectives of improve production and productivity of traditional as well as cut flowers through availability of quality planting material and transfer technology, improve human resource capabilities for growing flowers scientifically, promote production of off season and quality flowers through protected cultivation as well as improve on farm post harvest handling of flowers.
State Governments have set up separate departments for promotion and development of the sector in their respective States.
Policies and Schemes
Several significant initiatives have been taken in recent years by the Government in order to reverse the downward trend in agricultural production. Some of these important initiatives include:
- Bharat Nirman;
- National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme;
- National Horticulture Mission;
- Expansion of Institutional Credit to Farmers;
- Establishment of the National Bee Board;
- Establishment of the National Rainfed Area Authority;
- Establishment of the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB);
- Watershed Development and Micro Irrigation Programmes;
- Reforms in Agricultural Marketing and Development of Market Infrastructure;
- Revitalisation of Cooperative Sector;
- Agri-business Development through Venture Capital Participation by the Small Farmer Agri-business Consortium;
- Reform and Support for Agriculture Extension Services;
- National Rural Health Mission;
- National Food Security Mission;
- Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana to incentivise the states to invest more in agriculture;
- Integrated Food Law;
- Legislative Framework for Warehousing Development and Regulation;
- Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPVFR) Act, 2001;
- National Bamboo Mission; and
- Knowledge Connectivity through Common Service Centres (CSC) and IT initiatives.
Integrated Development of Commercial Floriculture
- Improve production and productivity of traditional as well as cut flowers through availability of quality planting material and transfer technology.
- Improve human resource capabilities for growing flowers scientifically.
- Promote production of off season and quality flowers through protected cultivation.
- Improve on farm post harvest handling of flowers.
- Pattern of Assistance:
- Specific attention for development of traditional flowers.
- Strengthening of Model Floriculture Centres for additional facilities and extension of MFC in other potential States.
- Improvement in productivity and production through higher use of inputs and area expansion
- Assistance for off-season production of flowers
- Emphasis on on-farm post-harvest management of flowers.
- Encouragement for greenhouse cultivation of flowers.
- Farmer participatory demonstration of cultivator technology
- Dissemination of Information through training and media support