Berhampur: At least four floriculture clusters will be developed under a CSIR mission in Odisha to boost cultivation of flowers and create business opportunities for entrepreneurs in the sector, an official said Monday.
The clusters will be set up by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and the National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow, in a minimum half-acre of land and with 25-30 floriculturists, who will grow various types of commercial and seasonal flowers, he said.
The CSIR Floriculture Mission has been launched to help farmers and the sector re-position itself to reduce import dependence.
It is also expected to create opportunities for entrepreneurship development in floriculture.
The four clusters will be developed in Ralaba in Ganjam, Sadhusahi in Cuttack, Umri in Koraput and also in an area in Nabarangapur districts, CSIR-NBRI state coordinator Chandra Sekhar Mohanty said.
A team of experts had recently visited Ralaba near Hinjili in Ganjam district to interact with floriculturists to develop a decentralised nursery in the area, Mohanty said.
Several training sessions for farmers and members of self-help groups were held in these areas, where scientists have motivated them to scale up flower farming through the mission, he said.
The programme will focus on commercial and seasonal flowers.
The size of the floriculture market in the country was around Rs 15,700 crore in 2018 and is estimated to reach Rs 47,200 crore by 2024.
Mohanty said floriculture gardens will soon be set up at the Sainik School in Bhubaneswar and Kendriya Vidyalaya, Koraput, to impart knowledge and create awareness among students about the potential of the sector.
Introduction of high-value floriculture crops is the need of the hour to strengthen such trade in the state, according to the scientist.
Odisha, with its diverse agro-climatic conditions, is poised to be a floriculture hub in eastern India, Mohanty said.
During the launch of the mission in March, then Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said farmers had little knowledge about floriculture, which can give five times more return than the traditional crops and has the potential to employ a large number of people.
“Despite the fact that India has diverse agro-climatic conditions, and rich plant diversity, its share is only 0.6 per cent of the global floriculture market. At least $1,200 million worth of floriculture products are being imported by India every year from different countries,” Vardhan had said.