CS discusses modalities for establishment of CoE in production of temperate flower bulbs

SRINAGAR: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta today impressed upon the experts in the field to explore the possibility of developing floriculture on commercial lines by optimal utilization of the resources and favourable climatic conditions.

The meeting was attended by Vice Chancellor, SKUAST, Kashmir; Commissioner Secretary, Floriculture; Director Floriculture, Kashmir; Field experts, HoDs/Professors from SKUAST besides other concerned officers of the Department.

The Chief Secretary took this occasion to impress upon the officers to avail all the opportunities of providing avenues to the people in J&K for adopting floriculture on commercial lines since it had potential to provide much better returns than other options. He maintained that the climatic conditions of the UT are most suitable for this activity and it has a great potential to provide economic support to thousands of people.

Dr Mehta enjoined upon the officers of the floriculture department to demonstrate to public the significantly higher benefits this could yield to them. He maintained that commercial scale activity could bring returns worth millions. He asked the Department to formulate a massive floriculture programme on lines of the Holistic Agriculture Development Programme.

The Chief Secretary also directed the Department to make endeavors for plantation of flowers along newly developed cycle tracks, Riverfronts and other public spaces of the smart city areas so increase their appeal to public.

He advised them to go for massive flowering of all the gardens and parks with long-lasting domestic flower varieties like those of Orchids, Daffodils, Dahalias, Jasmines, Marigolds etc. He observed that it takes little planning to spruce up the public spaces if we are watchful towards our surroundings.

During this meeting the Chief Secretary also held deliberations with the University experts about the establishment of Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Temperate flower bud production. He expressed that such flowers have a great commercial value and can be successfully implemented in a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode in the UT. He asked for inculcating this proposal in the upcoming budget by the Department so that the same is established during next few years.

The experts including the Vice Chancellor, SKUAST Kashmir informed the meeting that this CoE is envisaged to make UT the hub of temperate bulb production for meeting the national requirements.

It was further revealed that India imports about 10-15 Cr temperate bulbs annually which includes 20 lakh Tulip bulbs, 10 Cr Lilium and 4-5 Cr other bulbs from European countries.

It was added that the value in terms of foreign exchange amounts to nearly ₹400-500 Cr and can be tapped by the UT by establishment of this centre here. The further course includes capacity building and transfer of requisite technology from Holland to develop this sector on commercial lines in PPP mode in the UT.

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