IMPORTANCE OF FLORICULTURE
Floriculture is expanding very fast as an industry world over and same is the case for it in India. Floriculture has become a very popular commercial activity during last decade of the outgoing millennium. The world trade data shows that the share of developing countries amounts to more than 20% but Indian contribution in floriculture had not been more than 0.5% of the world transaction. Realizing the scope of earning more foreign exchange through the sector, Govt. of India has declared floriculture as a high thrust area and announced several policies in favour of the production of high quality flowers. This led to large investment in this area and as a result during 1990s, a large number of floriculture units based on green house technologies for the export of their produce have been set up in the country. These developments had an effect on the flower cultivation in the open field condition and thus significant growth in the floriculture sector took place. Indian floriculture sector is now experiencing a change in terms of technology of production, packaging and storage, varieties and qualities of product, quantum of production and the marketing mechanism. The entrepreneur (the farmer) has been found to play the crucial role in the innovative process so as to harness the benefits of the quantum jump created in the market by the consumers. Entrepreneurs with farming expertise have been striving to exploit this opportunity by setting up floriculture projects.
The world flower market is $ 4 bln. As on 04, there are 74000 hectares under floriculture and annual production of loose flowers is estimated at 4.6 lakh T and cut flowers are 11 crores in numbers.
The growth in floriculture sector under open field condition was picked up in India by the replacement of traditional food crops such as wheat and sugarcane by flower crops marketed as cut flowers. The adoption of crop substitution and other changes brought in by the new entrants has been acclaimed as the innovativeness of the entrepreneurs.
Indian flowers such as Roses, Orchids, Lilium, Carnations, and Anthurium have received global recognition. Globalisation has offered great opportunities to Indian floriculture.