India’s ‘flower power’ continues to bloom with the country emerging as the second largest grower of flowers around the world, surpassed only by China. About 2,33,000 hectares across the country was used for floriculture, producing 17,29,000 metric tonnes (MT) of loose flowers and 76,732 lakh cut flowers, according to the latest data of the National Horticulture Board for 2012-13.
Andhra Pradesh leads in loose flowers production with 2,24,410 MT cultivated over 34,850 hectares, followed by Karnataka at 2,07,500 MT cultivated in 29,700 hectares and Tamil Nadu with 3,12,970 MT grown in 28,700 hectares.
West Bengal has emerged as the largest producer in cut flowers with 25,429 lakh pieces, followed by Karnataka and Maharashtra.
Other prominent cut flower producing states are Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand. According to K.V. Prasad, head of the Division of Floriculture and
Landscaping at the Indian Agriculture and Research Institute, the production of loose flowers almost tripled between the 8th Plan and the 11th Plan.
During the same period, the area under flower cultivation expanded 2.69 times. Traditional flower sector grew from 71,000 hectares at the end of the 8th Plan to 1,91,000 hectares by the end of the 11th Plan.
Officials said, the record production in 2012-13 and the year-on-year increase in area and yield was achieved because of favourable agroclimatic conditions.
The rise in area under flower cultivation is also attributable to strong rising domestic demand and a strong demand for flowers especially for events like Christmas, New Year’s eve, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.