Rs 60 cr worth roses for export this Valentine's day

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Bangalore, Jan 23 (UNI) Over 45 to 50 million stems of red roses, worth about Rs 60 crore, were expected to be shipped from the Garden City to Aaizmer in the Netherlands, the global terminal market for flowers, during Valentine's day this year.

Talking to newspersons after holding a meeting of flower export stakeholders here today, Karnataka Horticulture Secretary P Ganeshan said Valentine's day, celebrated on February 14, would provide a good opportunity for Indian flower growers and exporters to take advantage of the moods and customs of the celebration event.

He said the demand assessment for exporting cut flowers during Valentine's day from Karnataka was found to be five million roses.

Companies have made elaborate arrangements for production of quality roses to be pushed into the Valentine market abroad.

Mr Ganeshan said the Department had taken all measures for the smooth export of flowers between January 28 and early February through the designated airports of Bangalore and Mangalore.

He said that in the meeting, exporters expressed reservations over the high royalty charges levied on roses and appealed to the Government to come to their rescue. The exporters also objected to air freight charges, which were comparatively high than most countries. ''The freight charges in Israel is Rs 1.75 per rose stem, whereas it is over Rs 3.50 in India.'' They demanded reduced freight charges to remain competitive in the sector.

He said the State Government had written to the Union Commerce Ministry, seeking assistance for the growers on the freight charges issue. ''Annually, flowers worth over Rs 290 crore to Rs 300 crore is being exported and the market is growing,'' he added. UNI MV GD RL VC2128

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