Flowers play an essential role in people’s life. They are so indispensable that weddings, parties, inaugural functions, political activities; celebration of certain days such as teacher’s day, mother’s day, valentine's day, festivals such as Diwali, Christmas etc. cannot be accomplished without flowers. So the demand for flowers and variety of flowers are increasing day by day and has to be fulfilled.
Floriculture is the growing of cut flowers, potted flowers, foliage plants etc. in green houses or/and fields. The cut flowers are usually sold in bunches or as bouquets with cut foliage. Floriculture has been identified as a rising industry and Government of India has accorded it 100 % export oriented status. Commercial floriculture has emerged as hi-tech activity producing flowers of different variety inside a well developed greenhouse with the ability of giving controlled climatic conditions. The per unit yield of commercial floriculture is more than most of the field crops and the government is promoting this industry very hardly by providing significant subsidies (upto 50% depending upon the case) and other functional helps.
Figure shows a green house establishment near Bhopal with Gerbera plantation.
With the opening of world market, there is a free movement of floriculture products worldwide. More than 140 countries are involved in floriculture. The main floriculture products in the international market are rose, carnation, chrysanthemum, gladiolus, gypsophila, orchids, marigold, tulip, lilies, gerbera etc.
USA continues to be the largest consumer of floriculture in the world followed by Japan. More liberalized industrial and trade policies paved the way for import of seeds and plants of international varieties and the export of cut flowers produced in India. The country has exported 22485 MT of floriculture products worth 455 Crore INR to countries like USA, Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Japan and Canada in 2013-14.
The major producers of floriculture in India are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, West Bengal etc. States like Madhya Pradesh is also gearing up to play its role in this field. Countries like Netherlands, which dominates floriculture with 90-95% of world trade, is planning to ramp up its agri-business activities in Madhya Pradesh.
There are certain crucial training aspects of floriculture viz. pruning of plants for optimal flower output, post harvest treatments, storage and packaging etc. which needs to be well addressed. Some of the challenges in this industry are capital cost, labour cost, seasonal demand, environmental issues, global concern over pesticides use etc.