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Indian flower exports likely to dip 20%

Floriculture exports from India are expected to see a 20 per cent decline this year “as buyers are holding on to their purse strings due to the slowdown,” S Jafar Naqvi, president of the Indian Flowers and Ornamental Plants Welfare Association (iFlora), has said.

“Despite the country having over 20,000 nurseries engaged in flower production, including high-value orchids, exports from the country are low as domestic farmers are not able to tap the market,” he said, adding that India is gradually becoming a net importer of cut flowers and plants.

Floriculture exports from India touched Rs 750 crore last year, a 65 per cent jump over the previous year. India currently has only 0.25 per cent share of the $17-billion global floriculture market. The domestic cut flower segment was growing 3 per cent year-on-year while the growth rate for ornamental plants was 5.5 per cent, he said.

Naqvi was speaking to Business Standard on the sidelines of the fourth International Landscape and Gardening Expo 2009, which kicked off in Hyderabad on Friday. Around 100 exhibitors from 15 countries, including the US, Europe, Australia, Singapore, Dubai and Sri Lanka, are participating in the three-day event, which is being organised by the state department of horticulture and iFlora, a forum with 3,000 members, including plant lovers, nurseries and flower growers.

“Holland, the global leader in floriculture products with a market share of 70 per cent, is slowly losing its monopoly as its young generation there is not interested in entering the business. This is paving the way for new entrants like Indonesia, Colombia, Israel and Sri Lanka. The time is ripe for India to take the lead now,” Naqvi said, adding that the government needed to make efforts to abolish import duty on inputs and reduce the existing air freight tariff structure to promote floriculture exports.

Source: Business Standard (3 October 2009)