: Better post-harvest management of cut flowers is the need of the hour to boost exports, said Rajesh Puri, a cut flower exporter and partner of Irish Biotech near Bagalur, here.

Subsidies

Though the government and other agencies are encouraging small farmer to take up cultivation of cut flowers by providing subsidies to set up green houses, drip irrigation and other inputs, no efforts have been taken to provide them cold storage, packing, supply chain management and upfront export market facilitation, Mr. Puri told The Hindu .

To bridge this gap, a group of three to four cut flower exporters from this region had proposed to help small farmers in terms of scientific methods of cut flower cultivation, packaging, he said .

Mr. Puri said that cut flowers have good export market throughout the year, but the boom period was three months ahead of Valentine’s Day and a month after the day.

Red roses occupy 60 per cent of the exports and for other colour flowers the market potential is 40 per cent.

Scope

He said that there was good export scope for pink and white roses during the Mothers’ day in UK and white roses in Arabic countries. Every exporter of the roses should understand the taste of the end user and try to export as per the requirement.

While each cut flower costs anywhere between Rs. 6 to Rs. 14 during Valentine’s Day which falls on February 14, during normal days each flower costs Rs. 3.50 to Rs. 4, he said.

The cut flowers produced in and around Hosur are being exported to Holland, Japan, Middle East, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Australia, UK and other European Countries. The Taj Mahal rose fetches the highest rate of Rs. 17 per stem, said cut flower farmer M. Munivenkatappa of Dasarahalli near Bagalur. He has his own cold storage facility and cultivates flowers in his 2.5 acre land.

D. Bala Shiva Prasath, an MCA graduate, cultivates cut flower in the land belonging to his father, a retired Headmaster.

Prasath, who exports flowers to Malaysia, recently sent two consignments of 40,000 and 25,000 cut flowers. He was guided by Dr. Jawahar, Head of Department, Floriculture, at the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University in Coimbatore.

Area of cultivation

An official attached to the Office of the Joint Director, Horticulture told The Hindu that the total area of cultivation of cut flowers and vegetables in the district was 33.20 hectare, of these 60 per cent was cut flowers and 40 per cent was vegetable.

Salubrious climate

Hosur, Shoolagiri, Kelamangalam, Thally Panchayat Unions have salubrious climate to cultivate cut flowers and vegetables, he adds.

So far, 1600 cut flower and vegetable farmers were given subsidy for setting up green houses in the district from the year 2006-2007, the official said.

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