Importance and Scope of Ornamental Crops / Floriculture
The science of the cultivation of flowers and ornamental plants is called floriculture.
Floriculture is the study of growing and marketing flowering and foliage plants. Floriculture involves the cultivation of flowers and ornamental plants for direct sale or for use as raw materials in the cosmetic and perfume industry and the pharmaceutical sector. It also includes the production of planting material through seeds, cuttings, budding, and grafting. In simple words, floriculture can be defined as the art and knowledge of growing flowers with perfection.
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Flowers are cultivated commercially in more than 140 countries around the world. The leading flower-producing country in the world is the Netherlands and Germany is the largest importer of flowers. Apart from Germany, flowers are also imported by the Netherlands, France, Italy, and Japan while exports are done on a large scale from Colombia, Israel, Spain, and Kenya. The United States and Japan remain the largest consumers.
Floriculture is an ancient agricultural activity in India that has immense potential for generating gainful self-employment among small and marginal farmers. In recent years it has emerged as a profitable agri-business in India and across the world due to the improvement in living standards and increasing awareness among citizens across the world to live in an eco-friendly environment. The production and trade of floriculture have increased continuously in the last 10 years. In India, the floriculture industry includes flower trading, production of nursery plants and potted plants, seed and bulb production, micropropagation, and extraction of essential oils. In 2020-21, the country exported 15,695.31 metric tonnes of flower products to the world. Whose value is 575.98 crores/77.84 million US dollars.
The Government of India recognized floriculture as an emerging industry and gave it 100 percent export-oriented status. Floriculture products mainly include cut flowers, potted plants, cut foliage, seeds, bulbs, tubers, rooted cuttings, and dried flowers or leaves. Important flowers in the cut flower trade in the international market are roses, carnations, chrysanthemums, gerberas, gladiolus, orchids, anthurium, tulips, and lilies. Flowers like Gerbera, Carnation, etc. are cultivated in a greenhouse. In the open field, there are chrysanthemum, rose, Gaillardia, lily marigold, aster, tuberose, etc cultivated.
According to the data of horticulture crops of 2018-19, the total area of flower crops was 303 thousand hectares. The total area under floriculture in India is the second largest in the world after China. The production of flowers was estimated to be 2910 thousand metric tons, of which the production of loose flowers was 2263 thousand metric tons and the production of cut flowers was 647 thousand metric tons.
Karnataka ranks first in the production of flowers among the states with a total of 253.24 thousand tonnes. In terms of area, Kerala is the leader in flower cultivation, where flowers are cultivated in about 53.26 thousand hectares. Other major flower-growing states are Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh in the south, West Bengal in the east, Maharashtra in the west, and Rajasthan, Delhi, and Haryana in the north.
Several agro-climatic zones suitable for the production of sensitive and delicate floriculture are found in India. According to the National Horticulture Database published by the National Horticulture Board, the area under floriculture in India during 2021-22 was 283 thousand hectares, producing 2295 thousand tonnes of loose flowers and 833 thousand tonnes of cut flowers (Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Third Advance Estimates, 2021-22). Flowers are now cultivated commercially in many states, including Karnataka (15.85%), Tamil Nadu (15.16%), Madhya Pradesh (13.66%) and West Bengal (10.61%), followed by Mizoram, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh. It has overtaken other producing states like Orissa, Jharkhand, Haryana, Assam and Chhattisgarh.
Importance of Ornamental Crops
- Religious Value
- 30% of the total cut flowers consumed in Kolkata city is used for puja
- In other parts of the country, flowers are used for offering or worship in temples, gurudwaras, and other religious places.
- Aesthetic Value
- In our society, no function is complete without the use of flowers.
- Baby born, Birthday, marriage ceremony, welcome at home coming friend or relatives.
- Flowers are also used to offering sick’s speed recovery.
- Flowers are used to make Bouquet, Garlands, Button Holes, Gajras, and Venis
- Growing colourful flowers in the house and parks enhance the beauty of the surrounding.
- Industrial and nursery development
- Flowers provide raw materials to industries.
- Many cosmetics and other beauty products are prepared from flowers.
- Perfume, soap, rose water, gulkand made from rose.
- Many industries deal in bouquets and dried flowers,
- Nurseries produce plants and seeds.
- Employment Generation
- The floriculture industry provides employment
- Many poor families in India make gajra, veni, garlands and get food by selling them.
- Gulkand and perfume industries also provide employment.
- Floriculture requires labour for the daily plucking, grading, and packaging of flowers.
- Income Generation
- About 3 kg of concrete is obtained from one ton of jasmine which is sold for Rs 8,000 to 10,000 per kg.
- Edouard rose is sold at Rs 200-500 per quintal.
- Floriculture is an intensive type of agriculture and the income per unit area from floriculture is much higher than any other branch of agriculture.
- Nutritional and medicinal value
- The dried fruit of Vanilla palnifolia is used to flavor sweets and other products.
- The underground stem of Nelumbium (lotus) is used as a vegetable called Bhasinda.
- Other ornamental aquatic plants are used as vegetables and pickling like water lily, lotus, Euryale ferox (Makhana).
- Export Value
- Some nurseries are exporting cut flowers, bulbs, and potted plants, especially foliage plants, to Arab countries at advantageous prices.