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Bengal's flowers to conquer world

Written by: Staff

Kolkata, Oct 27 (UNI) The West Bengal government has embarked on developing infrastruture for promoting flowers produced in the state to international markets.

The cargo complex adjacent to the city's international airport would be completed soon, Environment and Food Processing Minister Mahanta Chatterjee said.

The air conditioned complex built at a cost of Rs 8 crore would help in maintaining the freshness of flowers which would be exported from the state, Mr Chatterjee said.

Cargo complexes are being set up at Bagdogra in North Bengal to address the woes of the flower producers in that region, he said.

Another cargo complex would be set up in Haldia for the flower producers, who want to despatch their produce through the sea route, the minister said.

The state government was also weighing options of taking advantage of the various schemes under the National Horticulture Mission (NHB).

"We are trying to set up cold storages and supply chains to enable the floriculturists preserve their produce," he said.

Mr Chatterjee was spaking at Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BNCCI) programme last evening.

With number of people taking up floriculture as a business, an estimated 13.5 hectares is under flower cultivation, mostly in the districts of Howrah, Medinipur, Nadia and in north Bengal.

In order to inject professionalism in the sector, the State Government has taken over a wholesale flower market in Howrah, with plans to convert it into a modern flower market.

A committee runs this market, which is expected to increase employment opportunities (from the present 17.3 lakh), besides boosting export prospects.

One of the profitable outfits run by the State Government, the West Bengal State Food Processing Corporation already exports flowers to the Netherlands, UK and UAE.

UNI TJP SJC/src1018

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