State government has made a Rs. 150 crore five-year ambitions plan to boost floriculture in a big way in the State. Various incentives will be provided to the progressive farmers to encourage them to adopt this lucrative cash crop venture under the newly launched 'Himachal Pushp Kranti Yojna'. Rs. 10 crore will be spent on the scheme in this financial year.
The department of Horticulture has been made the nodal agency for the effective implementation of this scheme. The main objective of the scheme is to encourage farmers to adopt commercial cultivation of flowers and ornamental crops under protected environmental with a view to make Himachal as a pioneer State in floriculture in near future.
The scheme will also generate employment opportunities for skilled and unskilled labour in the State. Stress will be laid on encouraging green house technique and provide post-harvesting facilities particularly marketing on national and international levels so that farmers could get remunerative price of their produce.
The agro-climatic conditions prevailing in this State offer excellent opportunities for the development of floriculture both to serve the internal off season market and also for exports in the later stage. Efforts will be made to encourage the farmers to produce cut flowers, bulbs and seeds etc. as a cash crop.
At present, the area under floriculture is about 642.48 hectares out of which 98.51 hectares area is under protected cultivation and about 86 hectares area is under shade net houses. About 5 thousand persons are engaged in floriculture in the State. About 8 flower growers Co-operative societies are also involved in this lucrative venture
According to one estimate, the floriculture crops worth Rs.87.25 crore were produced out of which about Rs. 16.74 crore of cut flowers have been produced during last year. About Rs.12347 MT of loose flowers of Marigold and Chrysanthemum have been produced during the year 2017-18
At present, Marigold, Gladiolus, Carnation, Rose, Lilium, Gerbera and seasonal flowers are being cultivated in the State and there are a potential to grow exotic flowers such as Alstroemeria, Limonium, Iris, Tulips and Orchids etc. in the State. Efforts will be made to motivate farmers to take advantage new scheme for incentives so that they could go for quality production of flowers in the State .
The department of Horticulture has already established six floriculture nurseries to encourage commercial floriculture in the State. These are Navbahar and Chharabra in Shimla district, Parwanoo in Solan district, Bajaura in Kullu district and Dharamshala and Bhatoon in Kangra district. The two model floriculture center–one at Chail in district Solan and one at Palampur in district Kangra with Tissue Culture Laboratories for quality floriculture planting material have also established for the benefit of the farmers.
Focus will also be laid on training, capacity building of farmers and exposure visits under the new scheme. The incentives will be given at par with the ongoing centrally sponsored scheme - Mission For Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) to the farmers. The new Pushp Kranti Yojna will certainly go a long way in helping the farmers to diversify their crops and transform their economy.