Written by: Dr. Amit Mishra
Nature’s biodiversity has been appealing to humans from ancient times. Whether to welcome someone, to worship the deity, to use an ornament of hair by women, to use for home decoration, to celebrate grand occasions of life like marriage or birth, to commemorate Teacher’s Day, Mother’s day, Friendship day everywhere the colorful flower’s (Pushpam, Suman or Kusumam in Sanskrit) presence makes the occasion memorable.
Recent trends in the Indian floriculture market have projected this booming industry to reach INR 47200 Crore by 2024, with growth at a CAGR of 20.1% during 2019-2024. Flower’s online availability (a single rose stick or exotic bouquets made up of orchids, rajnigandhas, mogras, marigolds, and roses) at an affordable price has made the agriculture business more popular in today’s e-commerce world. Inclusion of cakes, cards, chocolates, and gifts in the business model can have added advantage for Young Entrepreneurs who are looking to dive in this business.
Flowers have wide applications in several sectors of business like perfumes, cosmetics, food, liquor, and textile industries. Also, the recent focus has been on value-added products obtained from the floral wastes like biofuels and bioethanol which can be an alternative solution to the problem of the energy crisis.
Nature’s wealth, Plant and animal diversity, builds a strong pillar for sustainable livelihoods and happiness on mother Earth. The global event World Biodiversity day is celebrated every year on 22nd May, this year the theme being “Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health”.
The most fascinating part in plants is the flower, which appeals with its beauty, colors, and fragrance, and symbolizes the evolving of the universal mind and the beam of life masked in nature. With the recent Modi Govt’s initiative of developing National Floriculture regional centres in cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Pune, Lucknow, Mohali, Srinagar, Kolkata, Gangtok, Andaman and Nicobar Island and Gurugram the conservation of important varieties of flowers of the region as well as encouragement of business at large-scale multiplication has proven to have a big impact to the business.
The ancient Indian poets and authors have described vividly the glory and beauty of these flowers in their write-ups. As per Hindu calendar, the six seasons or Ritu constitutes the year viz, Vasant Ritu, Grishma Ritu, Varsha Ritu, Sharad Ritu, Hemant Ritu, Shita Ritu or Shishir similar to spring, summer, monsoon, autumn, pre-winter, and winter respectively, different flowers display their beauty by blooming at different times.
Flowers have medicinal uses and are considered sacred. Flowers have played a crucial role all throughout human evolution. Traces of their value can be found in various religious books, folk tales, and myths. Few types of flowers had been used as food and still, today are being used as food while others have properties of healing and are used in healthcare. For example, Rose contains a good amount of Vitamin C, Lotus is effective against fever, diarrhoea, and other diseases like Cholera and Bronchitis, etc. The aesthetic function of flowers was well known to people of ancient times.
The most vital function that flowers have is their unique ability to convey genuine human emotions and thoughts the way no other item can. In today’s busy world when feelings are too intense for words, be it love, grief, happiness, or gratitude, expressing them through the gift of flowers are good means to express feelings perfectly.
The flower that holds the most obvious meaning is the “lotus” or “Kamal” in Hindi or “Padma” in Sanskrit, the national flower of our country, the eternal symbol of spirituality, fruitfulness, wealth, knowledge and illumination. The flower is auspicious for Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains. The flower is associated with Goddess Saraswati, Lakshmi, Brahma, Vishnu, Ganesha, Parvati, etc.
Flowers relieve our mind from physiological stress and anxiety and have a positive impact on our emotions besides conveying meaningful messages. The healing properties of flowers have also been proven scientifically. Recently many scientists have linked biology of olfaction to the perception of smells to help balance emotions and get relief from pain and stress.
In recent years, the revolutionary changes in the form of digitization, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and franchise options, the unorganized sector of flower business has made its place as one of the best options for investment.
India’s suitable climate, advancement in techniques (tissue culture), the abundance of healthy soil, high profitability, low labor cost, government support (Commercial Horticulture scheme, Cold storage availability) and proximity to markets in Japan, Israel, Russia, South East Asia, and Middle East countries have altogether made huge demand for flowers and has made floriculture a lucrative business which through better resource management would head towards a sustainable future.