Over 17.14 lakh tonne loose flowers and 746.77 crore cut flowers were produced in India during the 2011-12 period. ( In the previous year, 10.31 lakh tonne loose flowers and 690.27 crore cut flowers were produced.)
Despite a growth rate of around 30 per cent per year, India’s floriculture industry is currently at about Rs 3,700 crore (or USD 661 million) capturing a meager share 0.61 per cent of the global floriculture industry. According to a recent report put out by ASSOCHAM, India will only reach a 0.89 per cent of global share putting sales at around Rs 8,000 crore by 2015.
During the last Valentines Day, demand for Roses skyrocketed in domestic and international markets and India’s falling currency pushed exports to the Western and Middle Eastern markets.
Despite such gains increasing input costs (high fuel, fertilizer, and freight costs) and stiff competition from major flower producing countries like Israel, Kenya, and Ethiopia, are decreasing the margin of profits in the domestic market. In addition, past Assocham reports indicate the industry is increasingly hurt by the lack of government support as seen in other industries as well as by poor infrastructure such as roads and cold storage facilities.
The major flower growing states reported to the parliament in 2011 include West Bengal, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, North Eastern States, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana, Delhi, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, and Bihar. India cultivates different kinds of flowers such as rose, marigold, jasmine, chrysanthemum, tuberose, gladiolus, gerbera, carnation, orchids, and anthurium.
Five agri-export zones have been set up in Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Uttaranchal, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Karnataka reportedly contributes 75% of flori production.
India has a long tradition of floriculture. References to flowers and gardens are found in ancient Sanskrit classics like the Rig Veda (C 3000-2000 BC), Ramayana (C 1200-1300 BC), Mahabharata (prior to 4th Century BC), Shudraka (100 BC), Ashvagodha (C 100 AD), Kalidasa (C 400 AD) and Sarangdhara (C 1200 AD).
The offering and exchange of flowers on all social occasions, in places of worship and their use for adornment of hair by women and for home decoration have become an integral part of Indian living.
With changing life styles and increased urban affluence, floriculture has assumed a definite commercial status in recent times and during the past 2-3 decades particularly. Appreciation of the potential of commercial floriculture has resulted in the blossoming of this field into a viable agri-business option. Availability of natural resources like diverse agro-climatic conditions permit production of a wide range of temperate and tropical flowers, almost all through the year in some part of the country or other. Improved communication facilities have increased their availability in every part of the country.
See also: Dadlani (1996) Cut Flower Production in India