Floriculture is a multifaceted enterprise in India. It is characterized by growing traditional flowers (loose flowers) and cut flowers under open field conditions and protected environment conditions respectively. India also has a strong dry flower industry, with substantial contribution (>70%) to floricultural exports. Other floricultural segments like fillers, indoor plants, landscaping plants, seeds and planting material, turf grass and value added products also contribute their share in the overall growth of the sector.
The traditional flower cultivation, comprising of growing loose flowers mostly for worship, garland making and decorations, forms the backbone of India floriculture, which is mostly in the hands of small and marginal farmers. About 2.44 lakh ha of area is under loose flower cultivation producing 1840000 MT of flowers annually (2014-15). The major production comes from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Kerala and Telangana while the major markets are in Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Kadiyam, Pune, Mumbai and Delhi. The marketing network for loose flowers comprises of growers, middlemen, wholesalers, retailers and the consumers. The marketing yards for flowers are mostly on the pavements with primitive infrastructure for postharvest care and processing leading to poor shelf life. A small portion of loose flowers is being exported to Middle East, UK and USA for the expatriate Indians.
Loose flowers cultivation under open cultivation forms the backbone of Indian floriculture and hardly 1.5% flowers are grown under greenhouse cultivation for cut flower purpose. West Bengal, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal are the major producers of cut flowers. In the domestic markets, dedicated marketing infrastructure for cut flowers is in place in Bangalore in the form of a flower auction center. Such flower auction centers are in place in Noida and other metros.
Floricultural exports from India comprise of fresh cut flowers (to Europe, Japan, Australia, Middle East and USA) loose flowers (for expatriate Indians in the Gulf) cut foliage (to Europe) Dry flowers (To USA, Europe, Japan, Australia, Far East and Russia) Potted Plants (Limited to Middle East) besides seeds and planting material. Dry flowers alone contribute nearly Rs.320 crores (70%) of total exports valued at Rs.460 crores (2014). India's position as an exporting country for cut flowers stands at 29 among the flower exporting countries with a value of 8227(000USD) which translates to a percentage share of 0.31%. On the other hand India imports flowers worth Rs. 38.25 crores from Thailand, the Netherlands and People’s Republic of China.
The demand for the flowers in India is constantly increasing especially among the metros. This trend has encouraged the Indian traders to import some of the exotic flowers for decoration and floral arrangements. Major flowers that are being imported and sold in Indian markets include Proteas, orchids, Iris, Cala Lily, Heliconia etc., Thailand is the major exporter of tropical flowers especially orchids to India followed by the Netherlands.
India has a sizeable nursery industry with major hubs located in Kadiyam (Andhra Pradesh), Kalimpong (West Bengal), Pune (Maharashtra), Gajrola and Shaharanpur (Uttar Pradesh), Bengaluru (Karnataka).
India is a leading producer and exporter (Rs 322 crores) of dry flowers in the world. The product mix comprises of forest produce, farm residue, seeds, pods and fruits besides specific flowers that are dried. The major production centers are in Tuticorin, Cochi and Kolkata.
The cultivation and use of cut greens and foliage has increased in recent times. Open cultivation of fillers and cut greens attained commercial proposition in Karnataka, Uttaranchal, Kerala, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and North Eastern States.
With the research support, from 21 AICRP centers from across the country representing different agro climatic regions, ICAR-DFR is poised to address the researchable issues of the existing and emerging avenues in floriculture independently and also in a collaborative mode.
ICAR-Directorate of Floricultural Research,
College of Agriculture Campus Shivajinagar,
Pune 411 005,
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