KARNATAKA

Popularise floriculture, says Umesh Katti

Attractive: Special art works using banana leaves and on watermelon by Harish Kumar of Shimoga fascinated visitors at the flower exhibition in Belgaum.

Attractive: Special art works using banana leaves and on watermelon by Harish Kumar of Shimoga fascinated visitors at the flower exhibition in Belgaum.  

Staff Correspondent

Belgaum: The flower exhibition at Hume Park on Club Road in Belgaum has attracted a large number of people including farmers, students of agricultural sciences, and landscape and garden designers.

The exhibition, which was inaugurated by the Minister for Horticulture and Prisons Umesh V. Katti on Sunday evening, has been organised by Department of Horticulture. The exhibition is aimed at creating awareness on economical viability of floriculture and other horticultural crops. The three-day event is held annually to mark the Republic Day celebrations.

Besides the Department of Horticulture, several floriculturists, gardeners and interested individuals are participating in competitions held as part of the exhibition. Their display features several flower arrangements, bonsai plant, vegetable and fruit arrangement besides display of flower plants.

Art works by Harish Kumar of Shimoga are a special attraction at the expo. He has carved portraits of national heroes and legendary personalities on watermelon and has made an idol of Lord Ganesha using plantain leaves.

A separate section on organic farming is attracting progressive farmers keen to know more about the economic viability and marketing facilities for their produce.

Besides, a good number of manufacturers and suppliers of farm inputs set up stalls at the venue.

According to Mr. Katti, Karnataka is growing into one of the major producers of flowers in the country. At present, the annual business from floriculture was around Rs. 200 crore. The industry provided employment opportunities, including self-employment to over 50,000 persons, he added.

Although the flower exhibition has drawn huge crowds, a lot more effort needs to be put in to drive home the point that floriculture is economically viable alternative to the farmers, he said.

As a part of the three-day event, a seminar was organised to provide information on organic farming practices. Belgaum Zilla Panchayat president Ashwini Patil inaugurated the meet.

Deputy Director of Horticulture Department K.B. Dundi was present.

Recommended for you