Special Correspondent

It is the first of its kind in the country

  • The auction centre can accommodate about 100 bidders
  • The total cost of the centre is estimated at Rs. 10 crore

    BANGALORE: Bangalore secured another distinction Thursday with the inauguration of the modern International Flower Auction Centre, which is said to be the first of its kind in the country.

    The 5.11-acre centre, which was inaugurated by Union Commerce Minister Kamal Nath on the premises of the Karnataka Agro Industries Corporation (KAIC) in Hebbal, has the state-of-the-art electronic auctioning system and automatic cold storage system with a capacity to store 2.5 lakh stems. It is also possible for the buyers and sellers to bid through Internet from distant places as the centre has Internet-enabled auction process with online accounting process.

    While the architecture of the building is designed to make the centre energy efficient, solar energy is also being utilised.

    The total cost of the auction centre is estimated to be Rs. 10 crore. Of this, the Agricultural and Process Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has given Rs. 3.57 crore and the remaining Rs. 6.12 crore has been contributed by the State Government by providing 5.11 acres of land at a prime area.

    The auction centre can accommodate about 100 bidders. Only the registered flower producers and buyers are allowed to bid at the centre.

    The centre would be run by the International Flower Auction Bangalore Ltd (IFAB-Ltd) which is headed by the Development Commissioner.

    A major chunk of the country's floriculture exports are from the Bangalore region as it accounts for exports worth Rs. 50 crore in the country's total exports of Rs. 74.13 crore in the previous year.

    Inaugurating the new market, Mr. Kamal Nath termed it as a new stage in the development of commercial floriculture in the country. He observed that floriculture provided a viable diversification option for agricultural sector.

    There was much scope for tapping the Rs. 600-crore domestic market in the floriculture sector, he noted. At present, only 2.5 per cent of the flower sales were in organised retail sector.

    The floriculture enterprise would continue to be a challenge until the chain of activities right from post harvest mechanism to buyers is properly handled.

    Hence, a holistic approach should be adopted to ensure that the chain of activities work properly, he suggested. He also cautioned that floriculture should be a viable economic activity and not a hobby.