SRINAGAR: In order to encourage commercial floriculture in Kashmir in view of increased tourist footfall, a two-day flower show is being organised in the picturesque Botanical garden in Srinagar by the Floriculture Department from today.
The flower show is being held for the first time in five years.
During the two-day show, which will be inaugurated by J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha today, the growers will display flowers, cut flowers, pot plants, novelties and ornamental plants at their stalls in the Botanical garden, which has been established on the banks of Dal Lake and overlooked by Zabarwan mountain range.
Director Floriculture Farooq Ahmed Rather told this newspaper that the flower show is being held to encourage commercial floriculture in the Valley. “We want to give a fillip to commercial floriculture so that it also emerges as a source of employment and a source for increasing the income of small farmers,” he said.
About 100 growers would be setting up stalls in the Botanical garden during the two-day show.
The garden will be open to all. The tourists, locals and the experts of the field will visit the garden and go around the staff set up by the growers to assess their product.
“The event is to showcase how commercial floriculture can emerge,” Rather said adding, “It is an attempt by the department to make people aware about commercial floriculture”. He said the growers from the Valley would be participating in the flower show.
There will be competition among the growers and the prizes will be distributed among the stalls having the best quality of flowers.
Officials said there is huge scope for commercial floriculture in the Valley and now young entrepreneurs are showing keen interest towards this sector. A good number of progressive growers in the Valley have been trading selected cut flowers and other floriculture products outside J&K, particularly to Delhi market.
In view of changes in social values of people, rising expendable incomes and changes in urban-rural population mix, some plant nurseries have come up in the Valley and these are selling mostly the landscape plants, pot plants and flower seedlings/bulbs, they said.
The tourists visiting Kashmir are being mesmerized by different varieties of flowers in the gardens and parks in the region.
The Floriculture department maintains over 275 gardens and parks in Kashmir covering approximately an area of 500 hectares.