Sikkim Florishow opens today

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Gangtok, Mar 14 (UNI) Sikkim's showpiece event- the International Florishow -- was inaugurated by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia today at Saramsa Gardens, 15 kms from here.

Twelve countries, 17 states and over 58 groups from different parts of the country are participating in the three-day flower fest, being organized by the Sikkim government to showcase its natural resoruces and cultural heritage.

''Horticulture and floriculture is central to the agricultural strategy and we have outlined in the 11th five year plan process'', said Mr Ahluwalia.

''We have set a four per cent growth target in agriculture sector where 2.5 per cent is for food grains,'' he added.

Horticulture and floriculture are important sectors where ''we seek substantial growth'', he said.

The florishow drew large crowds on the opening day.

Chief Minister Pawan Chamling highlighted the bio-diversity strength of the state and said that while promoting horticulture and floriculture, the government can also promote agriculture in the state.

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