J&K produces only 10 per cent flowers, remaining imported from Indian Mandis

SRINAGAR — At a time when Jammu and Kashmir administration is promoting the tourism industry to become a world-class destination, the miniscule production of flowers is going unnoticed.

Figures available with news agency Kashmir News Observer, suggest that J&K produces only 10 percent of the flowers consumed locally.

“The remaining 90 percent of flowers are brought from various flower Mandis of the country. At present 8215 growers/farmers are registered with the Department of Floriculture, out of which 981 are active in the sector,” figures revealed.

Figures state that in the Kashmir Division area of 189.19 Hectares is presently under floriculture cultivation with 5.39 Hectares under protected cultivation, 12.14 Hectares under ornamental nurseries, 56.55 Hectares under aromatic plant cultivation, and 112.6 Hectares under open cultivation.

“During the year 2021-22; about 47 lacs cut spikes and 1300 metric tons of loose flowers and 485 litres of aromatic oil have been produced in Valley”. An income of Rs. 19.77 crores was generated to the growers during the year 2021-22″, figures added.

The officials said Commercial Floriculture has the potential to generate employment as well as augment the income of farmers.

“The potential areas of commercial floriculture are as Ornamental Nurseries, Bulb Culture, Cut Flower Production, Aromatic Plant Cultivation and Value Addition of Flowers”, they said.

Admitting that there was a shortage of cut flowers (decoration flowers) in the Kashmir valley, the official said that cut flowers are imported from outside Jammu Kashmir.

“Earlier there was less need of flowers for decoration, however, with time flower decoration has become an important component of our events, so the need has risen tremendously, but the Department is working towards the fulfilment of that need,” Shayiq Rasool, Deputy Director Floriculture Kashmir & Nodal Officer Centrally Sponsored Schemes told KNO.

He said that the Department is trying to rope in young people to grow flowers in the valley.

“Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) like MIDH, RKVY, and ATMA are being implemented for the promotion of the commercial Floriculture Sector. The department is organizing regular pieces of training within and outside J&K for farmers/growers in order to make them aware of modern trends in Floriculture Sector,” he said.

He said that Awareness programs/exposure visits are being organized by the department to attract more and more farmers to grow flowers, adding that, “earlier during Covid people shied away from taking an interest, however, with time, such camps are gaining momentum and we expect the demand and production gap will be reduced tremendously in the next few years.” — (KNO)