Floriculture becoming popular in Himachal Pradesh

December 19th, 2008 - 8:17 pm ICT by ANI  

By Hemant Chauhan
Mahog, (Himachal Pradesh), Dec.19 (ANI): Hundreds of villagers in Himachal Pradesh, who took to floriculture, are benefiting by employing latest techniques for a better yield.
The high altitude of the region, cold winds and moist soil that are most suitable for floriculture have acted as a catalyst with low temperatures preferred for the buds to bloom.
These farmers produce exquisite commercial varieties of flowers like Gaillardia, Lilly, Veronica, Verbena, Tiarella, Tradescantia, Sedum, Scabiosa, Rudbeckia, Polemonium, Peony, Penstemon, and Geraniums and Indian red roses that are much sought after in domestic as well as in European markets.
The Department of Floriculture has facilitated greenhouses for these floriculturists, and for instance, Mahog near Shimla has as of now 200 greenhouses in and around the village.
Many of these villagers have shifted from growing vegetables to floriculture drawn from the fact that there is growing demand for flowers around the world. These villagers have adapted the latest techniques in floriculture that have been made available to them by the government of Himachal Pradesh.
“When we came to know about this business, we felt encouraged to learn the nuances of floriculture. We went to university to learn about floriculture. We realised that this profession has a great future ahead and could do well in Himachal Pradesh where floriculture is not so rampant, and thus we collectively came up with our poly house,” said Ram Lal Thakur, a farmer.
In Mahog, 55 kilometers from Shimla, over 200 villagers are actively involved in the production and marketing of flowers. The flowers are sold at high rates in markets across the country.
During the festive season like the approaching Christmas and New Year, the prices rise.
These villagers, who earlier were engaged in cultivation of vegetables, have found floriculture more lucrative.
“Carnation plant is grown in December, thus we are covering up two major festivals such as Christmas and New Year, and because of this reason per stick of carnation flower is sold for rupees 10 in Delhi markets,” said Ram Gopal Thakur, another farmer.
Earlier, the State Horticulture department encouraged the farmers by taking them outside the state for getting a more in-depth knowledge about the field.
“We gathered a group of enthusiastic learners, we started training such enthusiastic farmers about floriculture and poly house. We took these people to other places like HTC in Pune, they learnt modern techniques of floriculture. They have seen green houses and on that basis they have made their own green house also,” said Jagdish Verma, Horticulture Development Officer, Department of Horticulture Government of Himachal Pradesh.
Floriculture is a totally skill-based farming. From sowing the seeds to packaging, everything is done by the farmers themselves. It has helped them bring down their production costs.
The total earnings of 50 farmers are over 10 million rupees through the production and sale of flowers in Mahog alone.
Apart from Mahog, over 2,500 farmers in other villages of Himachal Pradesh have taken up floriculture and are operating through 48 co-operative societies. (ANI)

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