India: The new 'flowering' destination

14 Feb 2016 | By Achin Garg
The booming flower business

India is fast emerging as a major flower exporting nation.

Although India's flower export in 2014-15 was just $70 million compared to the global trade of $40 billion, it is growing rapidly owing to rising demand from gulf nations.

The area under flower cultivation has risen rapidly and so does the production as more number of small and marginal farmers take to flower cultivation.

In context: The booming flower business

About What is floriculture?

Floriculture refers to growing of flowers for direct sale or for use as raw material in various industries such as cosmetics, perfume, pharmaceuticals, etc.

More than 140 nations are involved in commercial floriculture and Netherlands is the largest producer while Germany is the largest importer.

Floriculture comprises of cut flowers, pot plants, cut foliage, seed bulbs, tuber, root cuttings, and dried flowers.

6 Jun 2013Major challenges to growth

India's flower exports which consist of roses followed by carnations, gladiolus, marigold, jasmine, tuberoses, orchids and chrysanthemum, have been facing challenges.

Poor infrastructure, emergence of new flowering centres such as Dubai, Kunming (China), Tel Aviv (Israel), etc., and high domestic demand have stifled exports.

Rising costs of production, problems in water availability, cost of labour, rising land prices, etc. have impeded production in India.

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14 Feb 2016India: The new 'flowering' destination

Areas Major flower producing areas

The small and marginal land holdings farmers have, proved to be a boon for floriculture in India due to its 'high value and low volume' nature.

As a result, the area under floriculture cultivation has increased from 1.83 lakh hectare in 2009-10 to 2.55 lakh hectare in 2013-14.

The major flower producing states are Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, etc.

Loose flowers leading the growth

While the production of cut flowers has increased from 66.6 lakh tonnes in 2009-10 to 78 lakh tonnes in 2013-14, the production of loose flowers has surged from 10.21 lakh tonnes to 17.54 lakh tonnes over the same period.

Reasons Why is floriculture booming?

Growing domestic demand, supportive government policies, and suitable climatic conditions are some of the important reasons behind the growth of floriculture.

"The country is bestowed with ideal temperature conditions for commercial floriculture throughout the year in some or other part." - A K Singh, National Horticulture Board (NHB).

This has helped entrepreneurs and growers in recognizing diversification into floriculture as being of commercial value.

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Major export destinations

The United States, United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates are some of the important countries where floriculture products are exported from India.