India smells outsourcing boom in flower

Himalayan News Service

New Delhi, June 18:

Its varied agro climate, rich soil and cheap labour are helping India emerge as an outsourcing hub for floriculture even as strategies are being reworked to capture a growing demand for fresh and dried flowers. A start has already been made in Uttaranchal with Dutch company Neele Consultancy and Expertise helping to set up a joint venture, Horticulture Technology Pvt Ltd. “Currently, India imports a lot of flower bulbs and tubers. But now a reverse trend is being seen with overseas horticulture traders looking to outsource the task of multiplying these products to India,” said KS Money, chairman of the Agricultural and Processed Foods Export Development Authority (APEDA), “The joint venture company, with assistance from the Dutch government, has started growing bulbs and tubers in Uttaranchal for the overseas market. The venture is the outcome of studies that showed India could be the source of bulbs at one-fifth the price.” Against Rs 80 Indian Currency (IC) for imported bulbs available here, those produced in India are supplied overseas at Rs 15 IC. The venture is also exploring the potential for growing raspberry and blackberry for exports. To tap the potential in the overseas market, the first International Floral Expo is being organised in Bangalore with buyers expected from 16 countries, including Japan, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Over the last few years, India’s floriculture has been registering healthy growth with the government too lending a helping hand to improve infrastructure such as cold chains. There are plans to set up three flower auction houses in Bangalore, Mumbai and Noida near New Delhi. The results are already showing with exports rising from Rs 1.66 billion IC to Rs 2.5 billion IC. “Once the Noida auction centre comes up, we can hope to flood the Russian market on the lines of India’s success in Japan, where it is the biggest rose supplier,” he said. A delegation from Japan, which imports floriculture products worth Rs 250 million IC from India, is expected to attend the flora expo to expand its bouquet of flowers by including carnations and dry flowers.