Flower business flourishing in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Sept 20 : Encouraged by abundant growth of flowers, favourable climatic conditions and government policies, more and more people are taking to commercial cultivation of flowers in Kashmir

Those engaged in cultivating different kinds of flowers have got a reason to rejoice as the government has decided to provide assistance to the cultivators in a lot of ways besides constructing a cold storage in the vicinity of the airport to boost trade.

The Department of Floriculture is providing technical counseling to flower cultivators. The department had registered 300 flower growers under the commercial sector last year and the number is expected to increase this year.

Flower growers are taking keen interest in growing flowers, as this is not only providing employment but also huge profits.

"These flowers start coming out from June end. This goes on till end of September usually. Then winter starts and the flowers stop blooming. Then again in November, we start growing the flowers. From November till June, we can sow them," said Mohammed Yousuf, a flower grower.

According to Floriculture department, there is a huge demand for flowers not only in the country, but also outside.

"There is a huge demand for flowers during winter especially in European countries. We are going to provide poly houses to people on subsidy. We are also going to provide them imported plant material. I think this will help increase production," said Khurshid Ahmad Qasba, Floriculture Officer, Department of Agriculture.

The annual rate of growth in the floriculture industry is about 15 per cent.

The floricultural products include cut flowers, which contribute about 60 per cent of the global trade, flowering and green potted plants and flowerbed plants.

The floriculture industry in the world registered a dramatic increase in growth during the 1970's and 1980's. India's share in this global floriculture market is just 0.75 per cent.

India is a small player in the 40 billion dollar global cut flower industry, dominated by Holland, France, Italy, South Africa and Thailand. By Parvez

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