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SANF- The Booming Floriculture Industry Holds Immense Potential For Small Farmers

In India, 49 percent of farmers are in debt. The government waived 60000 to 70000 crores of crop loans but still no noticeable change could be seen, farmers are as much in a terrible state as they were before. The only solution is to teach farmers how to do organic farming and to propagate the idea of capitalizing on the allied sectors of agriculture, which will give them the courage to stand strong in the face of adversity and give them the strength to overcome trying times efficiently.

There is no way for rural development without proper knowledge on organic farming or natural farming methods, this is where SANF comes as a medium to impart knowledge and train farmers in the natural methods of farming so that there is financial security all year round for small and marginal farmers and their families, which will make them strong enough to face and overcome any adverse calamity.

Talking about commercial floriculture, or flower farming, there is huge scope in India, mainly because India’s climatic conditions are quite favorable for floriculture. The floriculture industry holds immense potential to increase the income of many small and marginal farmers. The biggest advantage is that flowers need much less land and water for production, in comparison to the cultivation of other crops (rice and wheat). Moreover, these crops also ensure decent prices almost throughout the year and the lock-in period from sowing to harvesting is much less as in the case of other regular crops. Not to mention, your returns on investment are much higher from these, when weighed against conventional crops, and reasonably so since these products are in high demand not only in domestic markets but also in international markets.

Flower trade, seed and bulb production, production of nursery and potted plants, and extraction of essential oils- are what make up the floriculture industry in India. The floriculture prospects are very high in India as there is a shift in trend towards tropical flowers, which should be gainfully utilized by a country like ours with a high amount of diversity in indigenous flora.

Significance and uses of commercial floriculture:

Floriculture is an extremely important component of the Horticulture industry that has the potential for generating employment opportunities all year-round and earning foreign exchange.

Outlining the uses of commercial floriculture:

Cut Flowers- Cut flowers account for a major share of the total world trade in floricultural products that are harvested with stalk, particularly for arrangement in vases, in the preparation of bouquets, and for decoration purposes. Examples of important cut flower crops include rose, chrysanthemum, orchid, bird of paradise, tulip, carnation, etc.

Loose Flowers- These have got high demand and are used for making Veni, rangoli, bracelets, hair adornments for women, garden displays, religious offerings, and decorative purposes. Loose flowers range from rose, chrysanthemum, marigold, jasmine, to hibiscus, spider lily, and xeranthemum.

Potted Plants- Potted plants have great commercial clout in the market for instant gardening, and for indoor, as well as, outdoor decoration. The potted plant industry is witnessing rapid growth, and they may be either ornamental foliage or flowering that is used for indoor and outdoor decoration purposes.

Here are some examples of potted plants- aglaonema, aralia, azalea, begonia, calathea, chlorophytum, croton, diffenbachia, dracaena, ferns, ficus, kalanchoe, maranta, money plant, etc.

Nursery- Nurseries are supposed to be multiplying and supplying plants and planting materials, and to a great extent, guiding the growth of ornamentals and maintenance of gardens. Start your ornamental plant nursery, and cater to the demands of various types of plants and planting materials like shrubs, climbers, cacti and succulents, palms, indoor plants, grasses, seeds, bulbs, nursery seedlings, etc.

Flower Seed and Planting Material- There is a huge demand for quality flower seeds- annual ornamentals and ornamental planting material in particular. The best thing is that different types of soil and climatic conditions in India are conducive to the seed production of practically all types of flowers. Generate huge profits by producing flower seeds of annuals in huge quantities for sale.

Lawn- A lawn is a green carpet for the landscape that is made in the field in front of a house or the garden, which adds to the beauty of a property (increases the property’s curb appeal/monetary value), and also emits oxygen to the environment as lungs do for the body. Also, the turf industry has recently got a boost due to government policies for promoting various kinds of sports and nurturing talent.

Dried Flowers- The dry flower technique involves easy drying of flowers (flowers whose availability is restricted to a particular period), they are preserved and processed to retain their beauty and everlasting character. We can cite dahlia, larkspur, paper flower, annual chrysanthemum, marigold, strawflower, lotus pods, etc. as examples of flowers that are air-dried and used as dried flowers.

Perfumes- The demand for natural floral extracts like perfumes from flowers, such as rose, jasmine, screwpine (kewra), and tuberose, is increasing with every passing day.

Help Check Air Pollution- Planting different type of plants in open spaces like parks and gardens helps in checking air, water, and noise pollution, and prevents soil erosion, not taking away from the shade and organic matter provided by the trees that help to improve the microclimate of an area.

Present Status of Floriculture in India:

India has seen a substantial increase in the demand for floriculture, which can be attributed to the change in lifestyles and increase in the per capita income of people, which has turned floriculture into one of the profit-making trades due to the constant rise in the demand of flowers and their products.

Prospects of floriculture:

In India, floriculture is considered as a high growth industry, and the scopes of floriculture in our country are vast:

  1. Various uses of flowers in an aesthetic sense and the considerably increased purchasing power of people have led to the rise in opportunities for floriculture.
  2. The demand for floricultural plants and their products are required in various functions and celebrations.
  3. The diverse agro-climatic conditions in India enable the growth of all types of flowers in one season or the other.
  4. Setting up a lawn and its maintenance is a lucrative venture that has become an essential part of the landscaping, which requires human resources- both skilled and unskilled.
  5. Let’s talk about the nursery industry now, which is coming up as a flourishing enterprise, giving high returns on investment. By staring flower farming, you can cater to the demands of high-quality flower seeds, including F1 hybrids.
  6. Last, but not the least extraction of essential oils, natural dyes, and pharmaceutical compounds from flower plants is emerging as a profitable business.

List of high yield flowers to gain maximum profits:

Flowers are a perfect backyard cash crop, as they are easy to grow, create quickly, and provide an income all year long, and hence can provide farmers monetary support throughout the year. Also, investments are low, as most farmers already have the basic gardening tools to get started, you’ll just have to buy the seeds.

Some of the high yield flowers include

  1. Roses
  2. Chrysanthemum
  3. Carnation
  4. Lily
  5. Gerbera
  6. Anthurium
  7. Sunflowers
  8. Jasmine

Flower Cultivation

Cultivating cut flowers are the most profitable in commercial flower farming, as we’ve already mentioned that they are used in the preparation of bouquets, floral arrangements, worship, and social occasions. You should have a ready market to sell your flowers since farming flowers are highly decomposable (easily spoilt) items. It is advisable that you set up a cut flower farm with necessary amenities in place.

The main flowers in the cut flower crop category include rose, tuberose, carnation, orchids, lilies, gerbera, chrysanthemum, gladiolus, to name a few.

Flower Selection- There is no doubt about the fact that you should always choose to grow flowers for cultivation whose demand is the highest in the market during all seasons. At the end of the day, your main aim is to earn profits no matter which flower you choose to grow in your field. You may not like certain flowers, but if they have great demand in the market, you should go ahead with it. It is equally important that you study the manpower you will need and also understand the issues associated with this type of business.

Soil Fertility- If you are aiming to produce a good yield of high-quality flowers, work towards maintaining proper soil fertility. Adequate nitrogen is crucial for flower production, as is phosphorous. Nitrogen deficiency can lead to poor plant growth, a reduction in flower yield, and you might as well notice foliar chlorosis (yellowing of leaf tissue due to lack of chlorophyll which can occur due to nutrient deficiencies in the plant). A plant deficient in phosphorous might grow to be smaller than usual with shorter flowering stems. Potassium deficiency mainly causes marginal chlorosis (yellowing of leaf margins) and can reduce overall yield.

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