One-day interface meeting among stakeholders of flower crops on “Flourishing Together: Innovation and Industry”, was organised on 12 April 2022 (hybrid mode), aimed to exchange ideas, share knowledge and to collaborate on research to enhance the visibility of floriculture at the national and global level. The meeting was inaugurated with lighting the lamp by Prof Sanjay Kumar Singh, Director, ICAR-IIHR, Dr E Srinivas Rao, Adviser (Horticulture), Govt. of Telangana, Dr M Vishwanath, Joint Director of International Flower Auction Center Bengaluru, Mr M Prabhakaran, International Flower Auction Center, Hosur, Govt. of Tamil Nadu, Mr Mammen Papillai, MD of Indo-Bloom and Mr Srikanth Bollapally, President of the Flower Council of India. Dr Tejaswini Prakash, Head I/c., Division of Flower & Medicinal Crops, in her introductory remarks, emphasised the importance of public-private partnership in benefiting the floriculture industry.
In the series of panel discussions, major issues related to floriculture were deliberated including ‘Flowers for Domestic and Export Market’, ‘Seed and Planting Material’, ‘Production Technology’, ‘Aromatic, Therapeutic and Pharmaceutical Industry’, ‘Landscape and Environment’ and ‘Postharvest and Value Addition’. Performance of the rose variety Arka Savi was appreciated by the industry and expressed the need of similar varieties for cut flower sector to substitute import of varieties. The utility of tuberose variety ‘Árka Prajwal’ for extracting aromatic oil was also discussed with the need for high oil content varieties along with high yield. Furthermore, advantage of the rose variety ‘Arka Parimala’ in therapy was highlighted and the possibility of involving health sector for future studies was realised. Several major industry partners, including NESSO, Synthite, FF Biotech, Sri Sri Tatva, Namdari Seeds, Raheja Groups and BIAL were also present at the event and shared the challenges and opportunities in the floriculture sector. Eminent panellist from different flower industries shared their experiences, challenges faced and suggestions to improve the status of the floriculture industry in collaboration with ICAR-IIHR. Some of the key points emerged during the deliberations are:
Showcasing and multiplication of ICAR-IIHR flower crop varieties by Horticulture departments of different states and distribution to farmers
Supply of reliable quality planting material
Development of varieties for import substitution both in annual and perennial flower crops
Public –private partnership to introduce new crops and varieties to the industry
Simple procedures and early access to new varieties suitable for the industry
Production and Postharvest technology for flowers and foliage
The need to relook into the import of flower seed material and quarantine restrictions
Potential of flowers in multiple therapies and need for collaborated work
Development of standards for planting materials and value added products
The need for skilled and technical manpower for the industry
The need for market and crop advisory
The program ended with the decision to take the points forward and take action in consultation with ICAR and multiple national organisations that can support Floriculture Industry.