ICAR-Directorate of Floricultural Research celebrates 7th Foundation Day

ICAR-DFR has celebrated the 7th Foundation day on 12th December 2016. Dr. K.V Prasad, Director, ICAR-DFR welcomed all the invitees and explained the genesis of the foundation lecture and the brainstorming session. Dr. S.K.Malhotra, Agriculture and Horticulture Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India was the Chief Guest and delivered the 7th Foundation Day Lecture on “Accreditation of Indian Nurseries: The Way Forward”. Dr. T.A. More former Vice Chancellor, MPKV, Rahuri, presided over the function.

Dr. S.D.Sawant, Director, ICAR-National Research Centre for Grapes, Dr. V. Mahajan, Director (In charge), ICAR-Directorate of Onion and Garlic Research, Dr. R.S.Patil, Director Research, MPKV, Rahuri and Dr.S.K. Sharma, In Charge IARI Regional Station, Pune, representatives from nursery industry, Maharashtra Nurserymen Association and Indian Nurserymen Association graced the occasion.

In his foundation day lecture Dr. Malhotra discussed about the importance of development of nursery standards and the need for nursery accreditation to ensure quality planting materials for both domestic and export market. He stressed upon the seed and nursery registration act and development of guidelines for nursery stock by actively involving the nursery industry as well. Labeling and traceability has been discussed as an inevitable aspect to maintain authenticity. Being the veteran in horticulture research Dr. T. A. More mentioned about the various requirements in horticulture industry in general and floriculture in particular, the requirement of subsidy in greenhouse technology and other policy interventions in horticulture sector. Two progressive farmers from the ICAR-DFR adopted village, Kusur, Mr. Ganesh Bochare and Mr. Sameer Hundare were felicitated for their pro-active role in accepting latest technologies and for motivating other farmers.

The foundation day lecture was followed by a Brainstorming Session on “Ornamental Plants Nursery Standards” chaired by Dr. S. K. Malhotra, Agriculture and Horticulture Commissioner, with Dr. K. V. Prasad, Director, ICAR-DFR as co-chairman. Mr. Devendra Jagtap, CEO Jagtap nurseries and Gardens and representative of Maharashtra Nurserymen Association made a presentation on “Nursery Standards for Ornamental Flowering Trees and Palms: Where Do We Stand”. He presented various requirements and the necessity of proper standards in trees and ornamental palms. He has presented USA Tree and Palm nursery standards in detail and requested team DFR to assist them in developing such a standard for the nursery stock.

Dr. Ganesh Kadam, Scientist (Floriculture), ICAR-DFR made the brief presentation on “Global Nursery Standards”. He discussed in detail about the current scenario of nursery standards adopted by different countries including India. Dr. Ashish Hansoti, CEO, Tropica nursery discussed various areas of nursery and floriculture industry where policy interventions are required. Definition of Agriculture in GST, Fertilizer control order for import of fertilizers for own purpose, pending subsidies for Hitech floriculture structures are a few among them. Dr. Prabha K, Scientist (Plant Pathology) and Mr. Girish K S, Scientist (Entomology) made a detailed presentation on “Quarantine Pathogens and Pests in Nurseries and Bio-security Issues”. Their presentations highlighted the need of following strict quarantine in both domestic and international transit of planting materials and nursery stocks. The presentations followed discussions on various aspects like Bringing plants in to country: Dos and Don’ts, Packaging and Transportation Standards, Value Chain Management and Traceability. The discussion ended with formulation of a working group for the development of nursery standards with the standards for trees and palms in the first phase. All the participants gathered actively participated in the discussions and the programme ended with a note of appreciation from every sphere.

ICAR-Directorate of Floricultural Research celebrates 6th Foundation Day

ICAR – Directorate of Floricultural Research, Pune celebrated its 6th Foundation Day on 10th December, 2015. Dr. K. V. Prasad, Director, ICAR – Directorate of Floricultural Research narrated the background and genesis of ICAR-DFR and welcomed all the dignitaries. Two leading entrepreneurs in floriculture industry representing cut flower and nursery industry delivered foundation day lectures. Mr. Kamlesh Karle, CEO, M/s Essar Agrotech Limited delivered a scintillating lecture on “Protected Cultivation of Flowers: Milestones Achieved and Journey Ahead” and put forth light on international floriculture market for cut flowers and pointed out the areas where research is needed.

He mentioned along with the international market for flowers, the domestic market in India has grown from $ 2 million to $ 135 million in 2015. He emphasized the importance of making indigenous ornamental flowers visible in international market to tap their huge potential for export. He requested the scientists of ICAR-DFR to explore the possibility of growing Indian garden rose in the greenhouse and to tap the potential of indigenous inflorescences of aesthetic value like of finger millet, heliconia, song of India, marigold, carthamus, sunflower, hill millet etc. He also mentioned the need of research to address the packaging issues and increasing shelf life for shipment of consignments to longer distance. Researchable issues that emerged from his presentation include

  • i. Development of production technologies that meet international standards, which include proper and optimum use of inputs, use of new and safe molecules for IPM, use of internationally complied post harvest protocols for enhancing the exports from India.
  • ii. There is a huge demand for tuberose due to its exotic fragrance, however technology for year round cultivation, efficient management of supply chain, reduced weight of spikes to make exports economical are some of the issues which needs to be addressed.
  • iii. Crop specific flower foods needs to be standardize for enhancing the vase life of cut flowers rather than following a generalised post harvest protocols that are followed at present
  • iv. Separate packaging standards for different flowers need to be developed to minimize the cost of packaging which comes to about 8 % at present.
  • v. The industry looks forward for exploring the possibility of shipping flowers by sea route if suitable collaborations are available to do so.
  • vi. Indian floriculture must innovate constantly to bring in new, novel products which are unique to India. There a huge demand for finger millets in Europe and US that are widely used in bouquet making, however the availability of finger millet is extremely short between September to November. Efforts are therefore required to increase the availability of such products and also explore the usage of new and novel native flowers.

Mr. Devendra Jagtap, CEO, Jagtap Nursery’s Garden Centre delivered a thought provoking lecture on “Ornamental Plant Nursery Industry: Milestones Achieved and Journey Ahead”.

He has pointed out at rethinking and channelizing our research and development efforts to address the future challenges of environmental horticulture to ensure the wellbeing of people. He gave examples of how floriculture sector can mitigate the environmental calamities like flood, drought, pollution etc by growing plants and trees according to the climatic requirements. He suggested the research should focus to cater the requirements of the changing life style of the population, urbanization etc. He emphasized the inevitability of a scientific research in town planning with respect to the landscaping, the selection of avenue trees, planting trees along the road ways etc. He emphasized the importance of vertical gardening in the time of space constraint and the need to study the adaptation of plants and their light requirement to the indoor conditions. He requested DFR scientists to explore those plants which can decor our windowsill and at the same time purify the air around the room or absorb harsh chemicals and clean the environment around with specific example of tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) which is a part of culture and tradition but releases ozone to purify the indoor air was sited as specific example. Some of the researchable issues that emerged from his presentation are:

  • i. Development of nursery standards for different potted plants.
  • ii. Alternate media sources to minimize the usage of soil in the nursery industry.
  • iii. Management of rhizophere to improve the nursery plnats .
  • iv. Understand the role of potted plants in mitigating air pollution.
  • v. Identification and commercialization of native species as new ornamental plants.

Dr. S. D. Sawant, Director, National Research Centre for Grapes, Dr. S. K. Sharma, In-charge, IARI, Regional Station, Pune, Dr. K. N. Bhilegaonkar, In-charge, IVRI, Regional Station, Pune, Dr. Sunil Masalkar, Associate Dean, College of Horticulture, Pune and Dr. V. S. Shirke, Director of Extension, College of Agriculture, Pune and Mr. Govind Hande, Technical officer Horticultural Export Commssionerate were present. They expressed their perspectives and congratulated the Director, ICAR-DFR for organizing such a meaningful foundation day in a successful manner. Scientific staffs from IVRI regional station, AICRP on Floriculture, Ganehskhind, Pune, the faculty from the College of Horticulture, Pune, Post Graduate students of horticulture from College of Horticulture and all scientific and administrative staffs of ICAR – Directorate of Floricultural Research participated in the foundation day celebration.

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ICAR-Directorate of Floricultural Research,
Zed Corner, Mundhwa Manjri Road, Mundhwa,
Pune 411036,
Phone: (020)29997185
Email: ao.dfr@icar.gov.in

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