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Environment
Flower to the People
March 1, 2013
Flower to the People

Small flower growers from the Himalayan state of Sikkim took centrestage at the recently concluded International Flower Show. Hosting participants from across India and the world, Sikkim showcased its natural advantage in growing low-volume and high-value produce, be it Cymbidium orchids or organic vegetables

Photograph by: Sayantan Bera

Environment
Flower to the People
March 1, 2013
Flower to the People

The 2nd smallest state in India, Sikkim is a biodiveristy hot spot. It boasts of 5,000 flowering plants and over 500 orchid species. The international show put forth an alternative development trajectory of high value horticulture

Photograph by: Sayantan Bera

Environment
Flower to the People
March 1, 2013
Flower to the People

A birds eye view of the sprawling capital of Gangtok. Despite the concrete congestion, the city, going by Indian standards, is unbelievably clean. Smoking in public and littering plastic is strictly prohibited and for a change, rules are followed!

Photograph by: Sayantan Bera

Environment
Flower to the People
March 1, 2013
Flower to the People

Thousands of hanging pots of petunias adorned the streets of Gangtok to mark the flower show

Photograph by: Sayantan Bera

Environment
Flower to the People
March 1, 2013
Flower to the People

The state government supports flower growers with training, polyhouses and saplings. Nearly 5,000 growers have been intiated, but maintaining cold chains and market access remains a challange

Photograph by: Sayantan Bera

Environment
Flower to the People
March 1, 2013
Flower to the People

State sponsored polyhouses nested in the hills of east Sikkim

Photograph by: Sayantan Bera

Environment
Flower to the People
March 1, 2013
Flower to the People

Padam Subba, additional director in charge of floriculture, says Sikkim's climate is congenial for high value floriculture like Cymbidium orchids and that the domestic market within India holds immense potential for the land-locked state. Sikkim is now supplying flowers worth Rs 20 crores a year to different Indian cities like Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata

Photograph by: Sayantan Bera

Environment
Flower to the People
March 1, 2013
Flower to the People

“Floriculture will have a catalytic effect on tourism—the biggest revenue earner for the people,” says Shailesh Pradhan, a niche nursery owner from the state capital of Gangtok. But the focus should be on indigenous and unique varieties of Sikkim rather than just hybrid varieties imported from countries like Holland, adds Pradhan

Photograph by: Sayantan Bera

Environment
Flower to the People
March 1, 2013
Flower to the People

Florence Flora, an Indian company collaborating with international flower breeders sees lower himalayas as a thriving market for their saplings

Photograph by: Sayantan Bera

Environment
Flower to the People
March 1, 2013
Flower to the People

Spoilt for choice, a buyer takes her pick of flower seeds

Photograph by: Sayantan Bera

Environment
Flower to the People
March 1, 2013
Flower to the People

Cosmopolitan—a dwarf rhododendron variety developed in the United States—hopes to find a market in the lower Himalayas

Photograph by: Sayantan Bera

Environment
Flower to the People
March 1, 2013
Flower to the People

Small flower growers with one poly house make about Rs 30,000 in a year in cut flower sales. About 5,000 farmers have taken up cut flower production, mostly Cymbidium orchids, in Sikkim

Photograph by: Sayantan Bera

Environment
Flower to the People
March 1, 2013
Flower to the People

Flower growers are organized into co-operative clusters, but economies of scale are still low to reap benefits. The hilly terrain makes it difficult for small farmers to access the market directly

Photograph by: Sayantan Bera

Environment
Flower to the People
March 1, 2013
Flower to the People

The International Flower Show showcased the states' organic mission in horticulture. Sikkim has introduced high value vegetables like broccoli, capsicum and tomatoes—grown organically. By 2015, the state is hoping to convert all its agricultural produce into certified organic

Photograph by: Sayantan Bera

Environment
Flower to the People
March 1, 2013
Flower to the People

An artists' collective stall at the flower show

Photograph by: Sayantan Bera


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