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Floriculture In India

Flowers are an essential part of our lives. They first appeared on Earth about 130 million years ago, during the cretaceous period. From that day, they began changing the outlook of the world surrounding us at every phase of life. They bring joy, happiness, sweetness, and colours on the days of misery and sadness. There are numerous references to flowers and gardens found in Sanskrit classics like the Rig Veda, Ramayana, Mahabharata, etc. The first evidence of Pipal as an ornamental plant comes from the seal of Mohenjo-Daro. Seen everywhere, flowers were cultivated for domestic uses like the making of garlands, Gajra, etc to be included in our daily lives whether it be a marriage, event, party, or just another boring day. Apart from aesthetic value, the Social and economic value of flowers has also been recognized but much later. As a nature lover, I would be more than glad to make others aware of their importance and about floriculture in our country, India.

In the past couple of years, a lot of spotlights have been shed on ‘Floriculture’. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that floriculture is emerging as a profitable agri-business. It is trending with developed as well as developing countries that have realized the significance of floriculture products and its nature of satisfying the aesthetic needs, creating more employment opportunities, higher returns, and also facilitating foreign exchange. Worldwide more than 140 countries are active producers of flowers. The leading flower producing country within the world is that the Netherlands and Germany.

Let’s dig a little deeper into the apologue of Indian floriculture. Floriculture in India, or flower farming, is a discipline of horticulture that deals with the cultivation, processing, and marketing of cut and lose flowers, ornamental plants, dried flowers, extraction of essential oils, and landscape gardening. Major floricultural crops are cut flowers like rose, carnation, chrysanthemum, gerbera, gladiolus, orchids, anthurium, tulip, and lilies. The production and trade of floriculture have increased consistently over the last 10 years due to governmental policies. After the policy of liberalization in 1991, the government of India recognized floriculture as a sunrise industry and special importance has been given to the exports of flowers to other countries. India is rich in biodiversity of decorative crops with varied agro-climate, ample sunshine, and proximity to the markets of Middle-east and South Asian countries. But despite all this, India’s share in the international market of flowers is very slow, because the international demand is for cut flowers whereas, in India, the flower industry majorly comprises of loose flowers and traditional flowers. However, India has better scope in the future as there is a shift towards the Hitech flower industry.

The question arises, why still people consider agriculture more than floriculture despite its multiple uses?

Due to its immense potential, a lot of interest has been observed in domestic entrepreneurs and farmers to serve the domestic as well as the international market. According to statistics indicated within the Handbook on Horticulture Statistics 2014, the entire area under flower crops in 2012-13 was 232.70 thousand hectares. The total area under floriculture in India is the second-largest in the world after China. India possesses a favourable geographical situation, soil, and environment, labor costs, and the investment culture of Indian corporate that lead to the production of loose flowers was estimated to be 1729.2 MT and 76731.9 million in 2012-13. Globally 171 countries practice floriculture out of which India occupies 51st position in terms of exports and contributes Rs. 455 crores which are 0.06% of global trade. The Indian Floriculture market was worth INR 188.7 Billion in 2019. The top ten importing countries for Indian flowers are the USA, Netherlands, Germany, the UK, UAE, Japan, Canada, Italy, Australia, and China.

 Talking of production in terms of state-wise, Karnataka is the leader in floriculture with about 29,700 hectares under floriculture cultivation. Other major flower growing states are Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh in South, West Bengal in the East, Maharashtra in the West and Rajasthan, Delhi and Haryana in the North. To promote the export of more flowers and low-cost production, the Government of India identified Bangalore, Pune, New Delhi, and Hyderabad as the major areas to set up export-oriented units. There are 300 export-oriented units in India. APEDA (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority) is the registering authority for establishing such units.

Floriculture, Agriculture, and Challenges 


India has a huge potential and scope to boost the floriculture industry but it has not been able to do so. Increasing industrialization and depleting agricultural land have opened great avenues for the assembly and marketing of flowers for the farmers. In a country, where the majority of farmers have medium and small farming households, floriculture can help a poor farmer earn much more than what he does through agriculture. The greatest advantage is that flowers do not need much land and water for production when compared to the cultivation of rice and wheat. India is a great platform as it provides cheap labor and the lock-in period from sowing to harvesting is much less as compared to routine crops. It creates scope for subsidiary agro-business like nursery and seed production of organic manure production. Net profit against investment is also high when weighed against conventional crops as demand for floricultural plants and their products, such as bouquet, garland, Veni, dry flowers is increasing day by day.  

Despite all these benefits, India’s performance in floriculture is not up to its potential. The area under floriculture cultivation worldwide is 7,02,383 hectares out of which China and India account for a serious share of 43.6% and 23.8% respectively. But when the global production of flowers is observed value-wise, the share of China is meager 12.6%, and India’s share is negligible (less than 1%). There are certain problems or constraints which require immediate action.

The problem of transport: A good network of roads from the villages to the market places is very essential for the overall development of the villagers. It was found that 12% of farmers expressed concern about the condition of roads. They face the problem of the lack of vehicles and high transport costs. 

The problem of storage: Storage facilities are a pre-requisite for maintaining the freshness of the flowers particularly the modern flowers. Cold storage facilities are essential for the flowers to maintain freshness, quality, texture, and life span of the flowers. However, none of the flower farmers had either possessed these facilities or the government has provided such facilities. 

Lack of awareness: It was found that the flower farmers have no adequate information about market demand and price. Along with this, they do not have proper information on the area, production of different varieties of flowers. They are deprived of advanced cultivation practices like high-density planting, fertilizer and irrigation management, plant protection, packing, and grading.

The problem of quality seeds and planting material: To capture the international market, India must attain quality standards. This needs flowers to be grown in greenhouses where temperature, humidity, and other atmospheric parameters are often manipulated to suit the requirements. Currently, but 2 percent of the entire area under flower farming in India has poly-housing facilities. Although, floriculture industry is flourishing day by day still the government isn’t initiating a positive approach to make sure the event of the industry. If benefits are given, they’re not distributed appropriately due to the narrow mind of local leaders.

Department of Agriculture and Cooperation under the Ministry of Agriculture is that the nodal organization liable for the event of the floriculture sector. It formulates and implements national policies and programmes. APEDA (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority) is the registering authority and liable for the export, promotion, and development of floriculture in India. It has introduced several schemes for promoting floriculture exports.


Floriculture is an exciting and lucrative career option in India. It offers great avenues of employment in production, marketing, export, and research. Honestly, I don’t understand why people consider floriculture as a poor people occupation. One can find employment within the floriculture industry as a farm manager, plantation expert, supervisor, or project coordinator. With proper training and implementation of recent techniques, one also can work as a consultant, landscape gardener, floral designer, or landscape designer. It offers an excellent opportunity in terms of income generation and empowerment. It has emerged as a big agri-business, providing employment opportunities and entrepreneurship in both rural and concrete areas.

                                                      “Flowers can’t solve all problems, but they are a great start.”

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