Himachal farmers taking to floriculture

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Kullu, Aug 19 (ANI): Floriculture is the buzzword for farmers at Kullu in Himachal Pradesh. More and more farmers are growing flowers as the new lucrative commercial crop.

Chrysanthemum, roses, carnation, marigold and gladiolus are some of the flowers, which are being preferred by the farmers over their traditional khareef (summer-sown) crop, apples, plums and apricots.

"Floriculture is growing rapidly. Its growth rate is one of the best among other businesses and it has a bright future. Flowers are in great demand everywhere, in small towns and cities, especially during marriage season when flowers become scarce and their prices rise very high," say O. P. Singh, a floriculture expert.

Floriculture can be the new alternative for farmers fearing low yield and a heavy loss due to the delayed monsoon and deficient rain.

"If there is any natural calamity, like this year, there is a drought and people cannot sow regular crop. So we are suggesting farmers and training them that they can switch to other commercial crops. They need not depend on traditional crop or even on orchards. They have to switch to other commercial crops, mainly floriculture," said Ashwani Kumar Gupta, Deputy-Director Horticulture, Himachal Pradesh.

Gupta added that the State Government is providing floriculture training and polyhouses to farmers on subsidised rates. By Prem Thakur (ANI)

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