Indian Floriculture: The Sunrise Sector
In the last few decades Floriculture in India has seen phenomenal growth. Due to the exceptional performance of the sector, it is expected to grow to $5.9 Bn by 2030 with a CAGR of 7.4% (2021-2030)1. Floriculture is an ancient farming method that now has become a major agri-business in more than 140 countries. The floriculture industry essentially includes - the cut flower trade, loose flower trade, cut foliage trade, potted plants, nursery plants, micro-propagation, and extraction of essential oils too. The floriculture industry is one of the most profitable sectors that can provide an avalanche of income and employment to many Indian farmers. The Indian floriculture market is projected to reach INR 47200 crore by 2022.
The recent popularity and acceptance of an environment-friendly lifestyle have expanded the scope of the floriculture industry. Many farmers and garden enthusiasts from all over the globe have started growing and marketing flowers with much interest and passion. There is a yearning need of spreading awareness about floriculture among farmers as Floriculture can provide 5 times more return than traditional crops.
As flowers are considered a sign of grace and elegance and hold spiritual and emotional value, the scope of floriculture in the commercial industry is undeniable. Unlike last many decades, the industry is thriving and making a separate space in the international market too. Although flowers have been an integral part of Indian culture and tradition, the industry is still new to the marketplace and the customers.
Floriculture gardens are now part of the modern lifestyle that people are adopting at a very fast rate. It is expected that the consumption of flowers will increase further as trends of urbanization and the influence of western culture are expected to increase in the coming years.
As India holds abundant varieties of flora and fauna, states like Tamil Nadu(16.6%), Andhra Pradesh(19.1%), Madhya Pradesh(11.9%) with Karnataka and West Bengal are the largest producer of flowers in the country and are developing more gardens and indigenous varieties to excel in the industry.2
Fact that both traditional and modern flowers have a high demand in the hospitality and wedding industry, the entrepreneurship wave has also initiated, and many floriculture- based startups are also booming. In 2020-21, India exported 15,695 MT of floriculture products worth $77.84 Mn3. Top export destinations include USA, Netherlands, UAE, UK, Germany, Japan, Canada etc4.
There is no doubt about the potential of this industry but there are a few challenges that exist in the market and are unfavorable to the growth and development of the industry. As India’s floriculture sector has an abundant and varied production base and has huge potential, it can easily annihilate all the challenges. Multiple factors including environment, infrastructure, and marketing are some constraints behind the decline in the export of floriculture products. Lack of information regarding new varieties and new cultivation techniques is the reason why farmers practising garden farming are unaware of the generative results of floriculture. Though India has diverse agro-climatic and edaphic conditions, and rich plant diversity, it shares only 0.6 % of the global floriculture market. At least 1200 million $ worth of floriculture products are being imported by India every year from different countries.5There are multiple challenges in the flower industry but rapid urbanization, better flower transportation facilities and other measures have aided the floriculture industry in India and have helped in maintaining the high growth rate of the sector.
Green technologies are favorable for the improvement in flower growth and trade but lack of infrastructure leads to poor performance of the industry. At the production level the industry is facing challenges mostly related to the availability of basic inputs including quality seeds and planting materials, efficient irrigation systems, and skilled manpower hence floriculture industry requires sufficient investment to resolve all these issues.
To deal with these mainstream obstacles Government of India has initiated the CSIR floriculture mission. It has been implemented in 21 states and union territories wherein available knowledgebase in CSIR Institutes will be utilized and leveraged to help Indian farmers and industry re-position themselves to meet the import requirements6.
CSIR has been developing new floral varieties and several value addition technologies. Through the Floriculture Mission of CSIR, agro-technologies, new varieties, and value addition technologies available with the CSIR institutions, efforts are being made to take these to farmers and entrepreneurs, and help them in multiplying their income”.7Also, 100% FDI under the automatic route is allowed in the Floriculture sector making the investment process much easier for the foreign investor and the Indian companies too and Government of India has identified floriculture as a prospering sector and with the current growth rate and opportunities, it will establish great records in the future. Indian floriculture is an essential part of rising India and thus provides abundant investment opportunities to rising India and thus provides abundant investment opportunities for the investors from across the globe. Indian floriculture sector is a wellspring of profit for all potential investors as new policies have paved the way for the development of export-oriented production of flowers and growth in the industry is revolutionary and inspiring.
This has been co-authored by Ayushi Giri and Agriculture Team.