What are potential, opportunities and challenges for Floriculture in India?
Floriculture refers to the cultivation and management of ornamental, especially flowering plants.
Potential of Floriculture in India:
Floriculture has the great potential to develop and flourish in India due to the following opportunities:
- India’s location in tropical and subtropical zone provides for varied agro-climatic conditions. This varies agro-climatic conditions helps in growing any kind of flowers in one or other part of the country, year round.
- India’s geographical location between two major export markets viz, Europe and Asia-Pacific provides an ample amount of opportunities for the floriculture industry.
- World witnesses scarcity of flowers during winter because of more number of festivals (Christmas, New Year, Valentine Day, International events) during winter and freezing conditions across major production center, Europe. There exists a gap which India can easily fulfill.
- Availability of semi-skilled manpower at lower rates.
- Export friendly policies of the government and development of model floriculture center, floriculture Infrastructure Park for the promotion of exports.
- Flowers are deeply intertwined with Indian culture either festivals or ceremonies from birth to death, flowers occupy a central position. This provides an ample amount of opportunities.
Challenges in exploiting this potential:
- Fragmentation of land holdings and the lack of institutional support for the leasing of land is a bottleneck in achieving the scale required to make floriculture profitable.
- To capture the international market, India needs to attain quality standards. This requires flowers to be grown in greenhouses where temperature, humidity, and other atmospheric parameters can be manipulated to suit the needs. Currently, less than 2 percent of the total area under flower farming in India has poly-housing facilities.
- Lack of institutional support through suitable market survey and related information.
- High airfreight cost in India makes Indian goods less competitive when compared with goods from African and Latin American countries.
- Lack of an integrated infrastructure from the hinterland to export centers makes the business expensive.
- High initial investments act as a barrier for the marginal and small farmers who are dependent on hand to mouth subsistence.
The annual domestic demand for the flowers is growing at a rate of over 25% and international demand stands at around Rs 90,000 crore. India’s share in the international market is negligible. If India aims to achieve the target of doubling of farmer’s income by 2022, India needs to shift its focus on floriculture.