Thursday, 6 February 2014

Lilium cultivation goes commercial in Odisha

Lilium plants being grown by farmers in Ganjam district

Lilium, an exotic flower, is being commercially cultivated for the first time in the State by the flower cultivators of Ganjam and Kandhamal districts.

Till now lilium was being brought to the State from Bangalore and New Delhi. But now those cultivating the lilium flower are planning to send their produce to Bangalore for a good price. Each stick of lilium costs around Rs. 25. In peak marketing season, its price may raise up to Rs. 50 per stick, say the flower growers.

First stock of the produce of lilium in Ganjam district was sent to Bangalore on Tuesday. It was produced in the poly-house of Sridhar Verma, the president of Ganjam District Flower Growers’ Association.

According to him, till now demand for lilium is not high in the State, but it is a sought-after flower in metropolitan cities. So, lilium produce of Ganjam and Kandhamal district would have a ready-made market outside the State, he says.

More than 40 flower growers in Ganjam district have started commercial cultivation of lilium for the first time this winter. Some of them have selected poly-houses for its cultivation like Mr. Verma, while others are cultivating it in the open.
The Horticulture Department in the State has decided to promote cultivation of lilium for the first time during the current winter. “Its cultivation was first tested in the centre of excellence of the Horticulture Department in Bhubaneswar. Ganjam has been chosen for launch of its commercial cultivation as flower cultivation continues to be done on commercial basis in an organised manner in the area. Kandhamal has been chosen as its climate suits cultivation of this exotic flower,” says Mr. Verma. The selected flower growers of the districts have been provided training regarding its cultivation at the centre of excellence in Bhubaneswar.
Three colours
Lilium is mostly cultivated in Netherlands. Each year new breeds that bear flowers of new colours of lilium get introduced by horticulturists. But in the State, three colours of lilium have been introduced for cultivation. These breeds are most sturdy and have ready made market. Liliums of yellow, pink and white are being cultivated in Ganjam and Kandhamal districts now.
As per botanists, lilium can be cultivated where average temperature does not exceed 25 degree C. So, this exotic flower can only be cultivated during the winter months providing a source of good income to flower growers. Source: The Hindu

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