L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Big boost to floriculture
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana: The progressive and enterprising farmers of Punjab are taking up floriculture as an alternative to the traditional crops. Some of them have started seed production of flowering annuals for export purpose.

As a matter of fact, floriculture has received a big boost in the country as a whole during the past few years following awareness among the people about the use of flowers for decoration purposes.

Quite a big number of nurseries have been set up by the people and florist shops have also come up in major cities. In a city like Ludhiana florist shops are found in almost every corner of the city. In Ludhiana alone consumption of flowers has increased by 10 times. The marriage palaces are the major consumers of the flowers, cut flowers and loose flowers. The Floriculture Department of Punjab Agricultural University has also played a major role in bringing awareness among the people about the aesthetic use of flowers by organising flower shows every year.

The elite of the town makes huge expenditure on the decoration of marriage palaces at the time of marriages. This expenditure runs into several lakhs. Sometimes even the Income Tax Department also takes note of such expenditure.

According to Dr Ramesh Kumar, Prof and Head, Department of Floriculture of Punjab Agricultural University, area under seed production of commercial annuals in Punjab is around 1000 acres and the export of the same is estimated at Rs 6 crore per annum. More educated farmers are taking up the seed production of annuals and the area is likely to increase further.

Dr Ramesh Kumar explains that seed production of flowering annuals is mainly dependent on manual labour and everyday surveillance is absolutely necessary. It has become highly uneconomical to produce seeds in countries like the USA, Europe and Japan due to high labour and high energy cost as the climatic conditions during winter months in Europe are unfavourable for seed production. To overcome this problem foreign companies are looking for regions where good quality seed could be produced at the minimum cost. The plains of North India have great potential for seed production due to better availability of labour and suitable agro-climatic conditions.

Dr Ramesh Kumar says that the cultivation of floriculture plants fits well in the rotation of commonly grown grain crops which further prompted many farmers to undertake seed production on regular basis. Another reason for popularity of cultivation of flowers for seed production is better returns from floricultural crops than the traditionally grown crops. Net returns range from Rs 25,000 to 75,000 per hectare depending on the nature of crop, skill of management and seed collection.

Enquiries show that the cut flowers and loose flowers are being received in Punjab from states like Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka and West Bengal. Bangalore is more popular for cut flowers and these are quite expensive.

According to Dr H.P. Singh, Horticulture Commissioner, Government of India, all the states in the country have the tradition of growing flowers but the commercial growing of flowers is confined to Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra in South, West Bengal in the East and Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana in the North. In several states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and UP there is much higher level of floriculture activity than what is indicated by area statistics. The production of flowers is estimated to be more than three lakh metric tonnes of loose flowers and over 530 million cut flowers. The cut flowers export has shown a tremendous increase from Rs 4 million to Rs 180 million.

He claims that the quality of our produce has been accepted in major flower markets of the world making India a major player in global flower trade.



Students visit press
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 14
Students of Gujiranwala Guru Nanak Institute of Vocational Studies, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, visited All India Radio, Jalandhar, to gain knowledge about the working system at a radio station. Mr Paramjeet Singh, the programmer at the centre guided and explained the working of Radio City FM and recording of the channels from the Jalandhar station. Students also participated in the making of the programme of Lohri.

Various procedures used in recording were also explained in details along with control room working. Students also visited Rozana Ajit office and the process of newspaper printing was shown to the students by the library in charge, Mrs Paramjit.


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