APEDA submits proposal to Govt to boost floriculture exports
Bangalore, Aug 25: Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has submitted a proposal to the Union Agriculture Ministry to boost the production and exports of flowers.
Addressing a press conference here organised to brief about the three-day Flora Expo-2006 to be held in Delhi from September eight, APEDA Chairman K S Money said the proposal had been submitted after conducting a detailed study on the problems faced by the industry.
He pointed out that though India had vast potential to emerge as a major player in the flower export market, which was estimated at 11 billion US Dollars at present and expected to grow up to 16 billion Dollars by 2010, the country's accounted for just 0.2 per cent of world flower exports last year at Rs 305 crore.
Mr Money said that though many states in the country had the most conducive weather for production of quality floriculture material, they lagged behind in flower exports due to various bottlenecks being faced by growers and exporters including lack of market facilities, high freight rates, failure to take up periodical replantation of flower plants and reluctance of large land holders to enter the field of floriculture.
He said ''There is an urgent need to showcase India as a reliable supplier of quality floricultural products. There has been a joint effort from various agencies like National Horticulture Mission, Horticulture Board, APEDA, Union and state governments in this direction. The need of the hour is a common forum to take care of common issues,'' he added.
Mr Money said despite limitations and constraints, the floriculture industry was developing at a steady pace and APEDA had set a modest target of 15 per cent growth in the exports of floriculture products next year.
Flower cultivation had doubled from 53,000 to 103,000 hectares during the last eight years. However, it still remained the income generating activity of only small farmers, he said, adding that this should be made an economically viable diversification option for big farmers and corporates too in the agri business.
The period between 1993-2002 had seen good growth in the floriculture business as large number of units had been set up in clusters around Bangalore, Pune, Delhi and Hyderabad, which started production of cut flowers primarily for exports.
He said a significant aspect of this growth of commercial floriculture in the country had been the improvement in product range. However, there was urgent need to plant more varieties of flowers which had long vase life, he added.
Mr Money said the Flora Expo-2006 would educate the growers and the exporters the new trend in floriculture worldwide and opportunities available in the world market for quality flower products.