: An international symposium on succulents and other ornamental plants, which concluded at the Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS), Ambalavayal, on Wednesday, stressed the need to formulate policies to promote floriculture in the district to ensure sustainable income to the farming community. The four-day symposium was organised jointly by the International Society for Horticulture Science (ISHS), Belgium, and the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) in connection with Pooppoli-2016, an international flower show being organised by the KAU on the RARS premises.
Addressing the concluding session, Sisir Kumar Mitra, chairman, ISHS, said commercial flowers had a huge demand in the international market and the sub-tropical climate in the high ranges, like Wayanad, was quite suitable to the industry. Collective ventures headed by progressive farmers can “make floriculture a promising occupation and it would ensure sustainable income from the sector, Dr. Mitra said adding that the system had proved “to be a huge success in remote villages in a small State like Sikkim where more than 70 per cent of rural women were ensured employment round the year in the booming orchid industry. Dr. Mitra said the same result could be achieved in Wayanad by tapping the unexplored potential of floriculture industry.
Tim Briercliffe, secretary-general, International Association of Horticulture Producers (AIPH), said there was a huge marketing network for all commercially important cut flowers throughout the world. There was a possibility to activate the production and export of floriculture products from the country through the AIPH network, he added. Delivering the keynote address, A.K. Singh, Managing Director, National Horticultural Board, assured all support of his organisation to launch commercial floriculture in the hill district.