TODAY -

Floriculture business: A booming industry in Mao

M Jangyukala & MM Shulee Ariina *

 3rd Flower Festival / Manipur's 1st Cherry Blossom Festival at Kayinu Village, Mao :: 26th - 28th November 2017
3rd Flower Festival at Kayinu Village, Mao on 26th - 28th November 2017 :: Pix - Kriti RK



Introduction

India has emerged as the second largest grower of flowers after China. The North Eastern region (NE) comprising of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim, has been identified as a potential area for the development of floriculture owing to its diverse geo-climatic conditions and floral biodiversity.

The floriculture in Manipur is characterized by cultivation of traditional flowers and cut flowers under both open field conditions and protected environmental conditions. The state has a great potential in dry flower sector also. Geographically, the state could be divided into two regions, viz. the hills and the valley.

Mao, a subdivision under Senapati district, falls under the hilly region. It is located at a distance around 44 km from Senapati, also known as the Land of flowers, fruits and vegetables. The region showcases an exotic variety of horticultural crops all at the care of growers who works relentlessly despite the high investment of capital, resources and time involved in the process.

Floricultural crops delivers high income in a short duration of time, hence a good scope for floriculture is being witnessed in the region which aids in economic generation and provide employment.

In Mao, majority of the growers have small land holdings for cultivation of the flowers. The available spaces in their backyard or terraces are used to rear the flowers, though some had greenhouses established to serve their requirement.

Hence, the business is mostly home scale in nature. The size of land influences the production and efficient utilization of resources. The growers are usually engaged in the cultivation of potted flowers, which is said to be more in demand than the rest.

Some of the potted flowers largely cultivated by the growers were Geranium, Petunia, Fuschia, Hydrangea , Orchids etc. and foliages which included Sanseviera, Monstera deliciosa, ferns, etc. and Heuchera (Coral bells) which are imported from Thailand, highly soaked after by customers looking for new addition to their collection.

Socio-economic conditions of the flower growers Floriculture is a women friendly task. It was stated that floriculture can be used as an emerging tool for women empowerment. In particular, the women folk have been able to profit from these new labor market op- portunities both as small holders and as wage employees.

Most of the flower growers engaged in the busi ness are young and educated and the sector provides employment to educated youth. Most flower growers have invested less than 50,000 rupees during the initial stage of their business and earn five times more than the investment. The capital required to initiate their business is entirely self financed.

Challenges

The non-availability of proper irrigation facilities is the most challenging factor in the production. Lack of seeds or planting material and fertilizers, poor transport facilities in rural areas and lack of marketing skills are also a major problems faced by the growers.

The government has implanted National Mission for Micro Irrigation/n Farm Water Management in the state to overcome such shortage but since itís not applicable in all crops, alternate ways like construction of reservoir and rain water harvesting facilities should be made available. It encourages the flower growers to promote the local products which are only available to the region and also attracts more buyers.

The growers encourages the used of organic manures and depends on the natural resources which are found suitable to the crops hence, minimizes the dependence on fertilizers. Lack of labor is the least challenging factor among the rest because production was usually practiced on small land holdings with limited workload.

Conclusion

In the beginning, floriculture started as a hobby confined to the backyard of the household but with the increased demand in exchange for economy the women folks have been given a platform to earn and support their family, financially to some extent.

As women plays a major role in the business, the government and society must arrange experts to visit the community/locality and educate the people, understand their needs and reach out. The flower growers agreed that the floriculture business helps to meet their financial requirements to some extent.

Thus, it boosts the economy of every grower as well, in addition to their income from other conventional sources. In order to engage in a sustainable business, the marketing system should be maintained efficiently in such a manner that it promotes the interest of both the producer and the customer.

It can be noted that the absence of proper and organized outlet for these floricultural products can discourage budding entrepreneurs from entering into the venture. The capacity to export quality products should be the goal for every flower growers because it will add to the economy of the region. Most of the propagating materials were reported to obtain from local resources and in very limited occasions from nearby states or foreign countries.

The growers grow the flowers using traditional techniques by taking note of the growing habit and their suitability to the environment. The findings from the data collected would assure that the demand for traditionally grown flowers must be high, hence declining the requirement to procure propagating materials from elsewhere.

Mao has a tremendous scope for floriculture and overcoming the challenges will propel the business to grow. The government plays a vital role in the development of the sector and active participation of the flower growers can lead to great achievements in the business.


* M Jangyukala & MM Shulee Ariina wrote this article which was publised at The Sangai Express
The writers are PhD Scholars, SASRD Nagaland
This article was webcasted on April 18 2019.



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