Local flower mkt high, exports dip

Written by Commodities Bureau | New Delhi, Pune, Aug 29 | Updated: Aug 30 2008, 08:14am hrs
Appreciation of the rupee against foreign currencies like the Yen and better realisation from the domestic market has adversely impacted Indias exports of flowers. According to latest figures compiled by APEDA, the exports of floriculture products has declined by more than a whopping 48.21% from Rs 652 crore during 2006-7 to Rs 338 crore in 2007-08. While the rupee has appreciated against major currencies, the domestic market for flowers is growing at an annual rate of 25% .

The production of flowers from states such as Maharashtra and West Bengal have stagnated, while Karnataka, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarachal have entered the floriculture business in a big way. Besides, being a dynamic industry, due to lack of new varieties being introduced by the Indian exporters, the demand for Indian flowers abroad is on th declining. Indias domestic flower and plant market, now estimated to be more than Rs. 1,000 crore.

The downtrend in exports has its positive side as well, as it indicates the maturity of the domestic market, which is growing steadily, S Jafar Naqvi, chief co-coordinator, Flora Expo, and president, iFlora, said. He said there was concern that a few mega floriculture export units in the Pune and Bangalore region had shut down and although some new units have come up, they are much smaller in size.

In the Pune region, out of 26 big units which were functioning earlier, only 10 or 11 are in business now, Naqvi said. At the Talegaon Floriculture park, which started with much promise by allotting land to nearly 100 companies, only 25-30 small units are currently operating due to shortage of labour among other problems, Naqvi explained.

In the coming years, floriculture will be emerging as a major agri-business segment. Companies such as Reliance, ITC, Tata Tea, Bharti Group, AV Birla, Big Apple, Namdhari Fresh, Subhiksha and Shoppers Stop are set to enter and tap the business opportunity or as bulk buyers for their retail chains.

New challenges are emerging for Indias growing floriculture industry and this will be the focus for the 4th International Flora Expo 2008, the 3rd International Landscape & Gardening Expo 2008 and the International Florist & Floral Art Expo 08 to be held in New Delhi from September 26 to 28.