Himachal Pradesh will supply its exotic flowers to Delhi for the Commonwealth Games. The state has secured an order worth Rs 31 crore for the purpose.
This is a big opportunity for us,which we will have to encash. The Horticulture department is compiling a district-wise list of growers who can get direct orders for supplying flowers during the Games, said states Horticulture Minister Narinder Bragta.
Till now,districts like Solan,Sirmaur,Bilaspur,Hamirpur,Kangra and Chamba have taken a lead in the cultivation of best varieties of flowers. With farmers switching over to polyhouses,Bilaspur is now way ahead in the race.
Himachal currently grows marigolds,carnations,tulips,lilies,gladioli,chrysanthemums and roses. Last year,over 680 hectares of land was under flower cultivation with at least 3,000 farmers making a business of Rs 45 crore. Carnations and roses will be in big demand during the Games.
To facilitate the flower producers,the government has made the Horticulture Produce Processing and Marketing Corporation (HPMC) the nodal agency to assess the demand and help growers in its marketing.
Five districts have already sent us a list of growers,which will be provided to the HPMC, said B S Guleria,a horticulture official.
In Chamba,the Churah Valley Farmers Cooperative,which has already made its name in the cultivation and marketing of flowers from the states most backward block,is likely to get a big share of the orders.
The society has a turnover of over Rs 1 crore. We are leaders in the flower market in Delhi. Our samples were adjudged best in some foreign countries, said J C Sharma,who is the brain behind Churah valleys flower revolution.
Solan is another potential floriculture belt where farmers are excited about the order. Atam Swaroop,a farmer at Mahog,said: I have planted one lakh carnations and 50,000 to 60,000 chrysanthemum plants. The annual turnover from these flowers is around Rs 25 lakh. He hopes the Games will bring him additional orders.
Nalagarh and Kandaghat farmers have also diversified into floriculture,getting good returns.