Gangtok, Nov 16 (UNI) In an effort to augment its horticulture prospects, Sikkim will be hosting the much speculated International Flower Festival in March 2008, scheduled to be inaugurated by President Pratibha Patil.
"The three-day festival will start from March 14 in Gangtok and President Partibha Patil will inaugurate it," said Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling today.
He said besides fifty countries, all states from the country would participate in this mega event where cash prizes have been announced.
Blessed with a rich biodiversity, Sikkim has over 4000 species of orchids and state government had been laying thrust on tapping its horticulture and floriculture prospects.
According to the Chief Minister, the international flower show will do an image building job of Sikkim and take forward its floriculture prospects. Once Sikkim becomes a horticulture state, it will also enhance tourism prospects, he said.
" We also want to encourage our people towards floriculture and its allied activities so that it becomes the profession of tomorrow," said Mr Chamling.
Meanwhile, preparations are on at full swing to host the festival even as all loose ends are being tied to spruce up the venue, the Ipecac garden at Saramsa and areas in the capital for the event.
Floriculture is being linked as another dimension to the tourism industry in the state. Sikkim is likely to witness a flood in tourists because of the flower festival since there will be participants and invited guests as well as tourists from the countries participating. Therefore, a beautification drive is already in progress in the capital and surrounding areas as well.