The airport must become a gateway to new opportunities
International airport to boost flower export business
Srinagar: The opening of an international airport has buoyed the hopes of flower growers in Kashmir as avenues for selling their produce in international markets open up. Flower growers and exporters are anticipating a huge boost in flower business, as they are hopeful to tap the international markets especially the Gulf countries where the demand for flowers is quite high.
Kashmir’s floriculture department is quite upbeat about taking the state’s flowers on international arena and will soon be imparting technical know how and providing other help to the growers for expanding their business. “Very soon we will try and impart technical support and provide other know how like finance to our flower growers and encourage them in every possible way so that the flower business will get a good chance to grow and boom with the opening of this international airport,” said G.S Naqash, Director, Floriculture Department, Kashmir.
The flower growers are also happy as they can now sell their produce in the international market at no extra cost. The freight charge paid by the flower growers to ship their flowers to Delhi is around 25 to 30 rupees freight per kilogram but for sending the same produce to Dubai, the freight will cost them only 10 rupees per kilogram because of the subsidy provided by the Agriculture Product Export Development Agency (APEDA). Also the reduction in freight time is an added advantage. “Earlier we used to worry about the flowers that we used to send from here as it used to rot in the transport time only. But now with the international airport, we can send across our flowers within few hours and this could benefit the flower growers a lot,” said Nazir Ahmed, a flower grower.
Floriculture has evolved as lucrative employment option in Kashmir in the recent years. Gerbera, Lilium, Carnation, Marigold, Tulips are some of the flowers grown and exported from the valley. The state has a rich market of flowers worth over 100 million rupees.