KERALA

Flower show to begin on Jan. 23

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Nov. 6. The Flower, Fruit and Vegetable Show 2004, scheduled to be held in the city from January 23 to February 1, is to go national with the participation of the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APFPEDA).

The participation of APFPEDA will increase the relevance of the show and also witness latest technological advancements and most modern varieties of various agricultural products, according to the general convener of the flower show, C. S. Yalakki.

The flower show had been revamped this year with the inclusion of the Agrifair. The event is being held after a gap of one year in the Kanakakunnu palace premises, the Sooryakanthi exhibition grounds, the Nishagandhi open air auditorium, the Observatory Hills and in the premises of the Institution of Engineers Hall.

The meeting of the organising committee of the show, which was held here earlier this week under the chairmanship of the Mayor, J. Chandra, approved a Rs. 75 lakhs budget for the 10-day event.

Of this, Rs. 2.5 lakhs will be dedicated to organise the Aquarium show at the adjoining Institute of Engineers Hall. In addition, the Kerala Rose Society and the Kerala Agri- Horticultural Society will jointly contribute Rs. 15 lakhs to prepare natural flowerbeds in the Kanakakkunu palace premises.

Mr. Yalakki said a temporary nursery has been set up in the premises of Observatory Hills to grow eight varieties of flowering plants that include Salvia, Marigold and Zenia. Exotic flowerbeds, with over 50,000 flowering plants in full bloom, are being created for the first time in Kanakakunnu palace premises and Observatory Hills will add a new dimension to the show.

According to the organisers, all the 120 avenue trees along the Vellayambalam-LMS stretch, earmarked for illumination by the banking sector, has already been fully booked by sponsors.