BR News Desk
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government has approved a new project to increase floriculture output by more than 60 per cent in the union teritorry.
At a budget of Rs 39.03 crore, “Promotion of commercial floriculture in UT of J&K” is one among the 29 projects, which were approved by the Jammu and Kashmir administration after being recommended by the UT Level Apex Committee for holistic development of Agriculture and Allied Sectors in Union Teritorry.
The prestigious committee is headed by Dr Mangala Rai, Former DG ICAR and has other luminaries in the field of Agriculture, Planning, Statistics & Administration like Ashok Dalwai, CEO NRAA, Dr. P. K Joshi, Secretary, NAAS, Dr. Prabhat Kumar, Horticulture Commissioner MOA & FW, Dr. H. S Gupta, Former Director, IARI, Atal Dulloo IAS, Financial Commissioner (Addl Chief Secretary) APD apart from the Vice Chancellors of the twin Agriculture Universities of the UT.
Currently, the annual output of floriculture in Jammu and Kashmir is Rs 28 crores. Under this project, the government is expecting to increase the yearly output to Rs. 85 crores per year in the next four years.
“Under this project focus will be on the support to each production cluster with end-to-end value chain, post-harvest, and processing facilities, branding, and market access, and capacity building of human resources for increasing employment in floriculture and allied sectors,” the document said.
The project shall restore 2.25 hectare of area under cut flower production apart from adding 24 hectares of nursery area.
“Creation of four clusters (85hacaters) for lavender cultivation, increasing the area under loose flower production, and expanding the area under seed/bulb production is also envisaged in the project. It also includes exposure visits and trainings for stakeholders, and business development and contract farming agreements with breeder and seed companies,” it said.
The project’s key outputs include upgrading 54 nursery units to high-tech operations, re-operationalizing 150 units and additional of 400 hectare of area under cultivation .
“Under this project 330 new enterprises will be created and training 2000 new growers in aromatic flower and bulb/seed production. It also aims to produce over 27 crore ornamental nursery plants & 4000 L of aromatic oils worth Rs 4.8 crores annually (from 5th year) and undertake skilling of 4000 growers in cluster mode. The project’s expected outcome includes generating 2000 direct employments and creating 330 new enterprises,” the project document said.
“The Indian floriculture industry has been shifting from traditional flowers to cut flowers for export purposes. India has a dynamic Rs 15,000 crore domestic floriculture sector which exported produce worth Rs. 771.41 crores in 2021-22. Moreover, commercial floriculture has higher potential per unit area than most of the field crops and is therefore a lucrative business.”, said Atal Dulloo IAS, Financial Commissioner (Addl Chief Secretary) APD.
“One of the key focuses of the project is cluster-based area expansion of small ornamental nurseries, which will help to increase output and productivity. The project shall undertake protected cultivation of cut flowers, aromatic plants, loose flowers, and bulbous ornamental crops, as well as annual flower seed production. The project also includes technology upgrades for existing ornamental nurseries, building aggregation platforms, and post-harvest interventions like on-farm distillation units, seed processing units, walk-in cold storage, transport, branding, and marketing efforts.” he added.