Around five million roses are expected to be exported from Bangalore

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, nearly five million roses are expected to be exported from Bangalore, which produces the best varieties in India.

C.G. Nagaraju, managing director, International Flower Auction Bangalore (IFAB) Ltd., told reporters here on Wednesday that roses were grown on nearly 250 hectares in and around Bangalore, while the daily production was around 15 lakh stems. The varieties that are in demand are ‘Taj Mahal’, ‘Grand Gala’ and ‘First Red’.

He said while roses did not have a market all round the year, they were in demand on certain days, such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. “This year, due to harsh weather in Europe, we expect increased exports of long-stemmed roses. The increase is likely to be between 20 to 25 per cent from last year when four million stems were exported,” he said.

Major exports are made to European countries, Gulf countries, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia. Increased exports are also being attributed to the Valentine’s Day weekend.

Mr. Nagaraju said that even locally, the sale of roses had picked up. With the wedding season a month away, the sale of roses was likely to see an increase. During Valentine’s Day, 25 lakh long-stemmed roses are expected to be sold locally.

V. Jhansi Lakshmi, vice-president of the South India Floriculture Association, said the floriculture industry would grow with good support from both the Union and State governments by having a single window system for the export of flowers. Customs and phytosanitation should be under a single window, and airfreight rates must be subsidises and import duties exempted, she said.

IFAB’s executive member M. Sridhar Chowdary said that in India, varieties that were developed nearly 10 years ago were cultivated. Indian growers face stiff competition from growers in Kenya, Ethiopia and China, where newer varieties were cultivated. “The biggest challenge is the royalty that growers will have to pay to cultivate the new varieties. It has to be resolved,” he added.