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The present market for flowers has witnessed an ever-increasing trend. The present global market for floriculture produces like cut flowers, potted flowers, dry flowers, flower seeds, flower plants, etc. is around US$ 11billion involving more than 140 countries. India’s contribution in the global floriculture market is quite negligible and accounts for less than 0.5% of the total market share. Of late however, floriculture is picking up as an industry in India also, with a market export of Rs. 448 crore in 2007-08. The domestic market for flowers has also marked an impressive growth. Within two years, the domestic flower market has shot upto Rs.1500 crore in the year 2007-08 from Rs. 1000 crore in 2005-06. The growth in floriculture cultivation has been phenomenal in the last decade or so and the area under flower cultivation has doubled from 53,000 hectares (1993-94) to 103,000 hectares (2001-02). Amongst various flower crops like roses, gerbera, gladiolus, carnation, etc., orchids command high value and great demand in the global market involving multi-million dollar business. Orchids are among the most beautiful flowers on earth that has attracted human beings through the ages. Attractive shapes, colours and long lasting characteristic of the flowers have made it one of the most demanded and valued cut-flower. Today, orchids play a major role in the development of cutflower industry in the world. In India, 1195 orchid species are found (Singh, Phukan and Bujor Baruah, 2001) out of which 870 species (i.e.72.4 %) are found alone in the Eastern Himalayan Region. The North-eastern States, which nestle in this region accounts for 825 orchid species (‘Khabor’, May 23, 2008, Friday) of which almost one-third are endemic in nature. Assam accounts for 257orchid species, Nagaland 246 species, Mizoram 234 species, Manipur 215 species, Tripura 57 species, and Sikkim accounts for 543 orchid species. However, Arunachal Pradesh alone accounts for 552 orchid species, thus making the state an “Orchid Paradise” of the country (Dr.Rajib Gogoi, “Prantik”, April, 2008, p-27). Many species of Dendrobium, Aerides, Cymbidium, Anthurium, Vanda, etc. with high commercial values in the global market are found in their natural habitat. The climatic conditions in the northeast are ideal for the
and 3. the exact number of species is unknown because of taxonomy (scientific classification) disputes. Eastern Himalayas covering eight Northeastern States contribute maximum diversity with about 839 species in 144 genera (Hegde 2005) and the Western Ghat regions covering four States contribute about 283 species in 76 genera (Ananda Rao 1998.cultivation of orchids. The North Eastern Region of India lies between 22°N and 29°5 N latitude and 88°00E and 97°30E longitude. and share international border with Bhutan. Myanmar. China and Nepal. which grow in abundance form important part of the vegetation. Exotic species bloom in profusion in Assam. The region is geographical ‘gateway' much of India’s flora and fauna. These Hots spots are known for the rich occurrence of diverse fauna and flora – especially the Orchids. The region falls under the Indo-Burma hotspot. The Himalayan Region 2. GEOGROPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF ORCHIDS IN INDIA: India is considered as one of the Mega Biodiversity regions in the world with two major Biodiversity Hot spots – The Eastern Himalayas and the Western Ghats. and as a result the region is one of the richest in biological values with vegetation types ranging from Tropical rain forest in the foothills to alpine meadows and cold deserts. Bangladesh. The word “Orchid” is derived from the Greek word ‘Orchis’ because of the resemblance of the shape of the root tubers in some species of orchids with that of masculin anatomy (testies). The Anadaman and Nicobar Islands Region. Out of 1195 species recorded from India. The Peninsular Region. However. Manilal & Sathish Kumar 2004). Due . Orchids. is the largest family of the flowering plants with about 880 genera (a group of silmilar plants usually containing a several species) and nearly 22000 accepted species according to the Royal Botanical Gardens of Kew. ORCHIDS . The North East Region of India contains more than one-third of the country’s total biodiversity. the orchid distribution in India can be categorised as follows: 1. one of the 25 global biodiversity hot spot of the world. also called the Orchid Family.AN INTRODUCTION: Orchidaceae. Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya. Broadly.
sympodial or monopodial. but produce variously coloured flowers. They are either pendolous(hanging loosely). .monopodial and sympodial depending upon their habit of growth. b) Epiphytic Orchids: Epiphytic Orchids grow attached to the bark of a shrub or tree trunks. Monopondial orchids have a main stem. orchids can be classified under the following heads: a) Terrestrial Orchids: The leafy orchids that grow on ground in humus (rich dark organic material in soil formed by decay of dead leaves are terrestrial in nature). d) Epilithic/ Lithopythic Orchids: These type of orchids grow on rocks. erect growing. but always having aerial roots.HABIT AND HABITAT: Orchids are perennial herbs with simple leaves which may be solitary.to this resemblance it was also believed that consuming the roots of these plants can arouse sexual desire and may beget male children. and sympodial orchids have many stems. These are saprophytes orchids. ORCHIDS . If differentiated according to their growth form. Orchids usually have fleshy or swollen stems called pseudobulbs. growing back in spring fromtheir root-stock rather than seeding themselves. They grow and bloom over the spring and summer and then die back every winter. A perennial plant is a plant that leaves for more than two years. Orchids can be divided into two groups:. A great majority of economically important orchids for cut-flowers and potted plants are epiphytic in origin. c) Saprophytes Orchids: Some orchids grow on decaying organic matters on the forest floor having no leaves and without chlorophyl (green colouring matter in plants). paired or clustered all along the stem.
mouth. Sap (a watery liquid containing mineral salts. But apart from their ornamental values. ringworm. sugars. Valmikis. 4. demulcent (a substance that is used to soothe irritated or inflamed skin or internal parts of the nose. tumers. and as aphrodisiac (something that arouses or intensifies sexual desire). Many Chinese traditional herbal medicines use orchid parts to prepare medicine for the treatment of dycentry. The range of diversity in the form of flower colour. especially the skin). Orchids are known for their high ornamental values. size. 5. Tribes like Kondareddies. Yanadis. 2. and other nutrients that circulates through the conducting tissues of a plant) of some of the species is supposed to be highly styptic (able to stop bleeding). Nukadoras. the orchid plant has emerged as the number one floral product. With its huge market demand.USES OF ORCHIDS: Orchids are well known for their ornamental values worldwide. shape and long vase life helped these exquisite flowers to be one of the leading cut flowers at the global level. is obtained from the seed pod of several species of the genus vanilla which has high international value.etc. Case studies revealed that orchids possess medicinal properties. etc. gastrointestinal disorder. Koyas. malaria. . Vanilla which is a flavouring agent. orchids are also valued for some other uses about which common men are not aware of. Salep (the dried ground tubers of various orchids used as food and formerly in medicine) from orchid tubers has been used for centuries as emollient (a substance that softens or soothes something. 3. used fresh rhizomes (underground stem) and roots to cure human and veterinery diseases. Following are some uses of orchids: 1. bundled with better growing technology and large selection of year round blooming orchids. or throat).
Similarly. Lastly. Although the global demand for orchid is very high. the present market for orchid flowers in India is low in comparison to other flower crops but it holds high potentials. Heavy demand for orchids in the international market can help the country earn a huge amount of foreign exchange. The North-eastern states which accounts for nearly 800 orchid species could not yet utilize its potentials. irrigation and green house facilities.000-1. If properly planned. under Floriculture Technology Mission of GOI. mention must be made about the fungistatic (a substance that inhibits the growth of fungi without killing them) compounds called “Phytoalexins” which were first discovered in orchids. Sikkim. establishment of tissue culture units. THE INDIAN ORCHID MARKET: The orchid industry has undergone a great deal of change in this decade. Of late however. With its huge market demand and high value. etc which the interested farmers may avail to develop orchid cut-flower production and trade. the orchid plant has emerged as the number one floral product. these are naturally produced fungicides by plants in response to fungal insfection. like transportation subsidy and similar other sops can trigger an orchid revolution. National Horticulture Board. THE NEED FOR PRESERVATION OF ORCHIDS: Due to the growing demands of orchids in both the national and international market it is . Proper R & D activities in developing hybrid varities of orchid which have the advantage of longer life span. Although. orchid business can help improve the unemployment problem. A little push. the Government of India is evincing interest in promoting orchids in the suitable agro climatic areas especially in North-eastern States and Coastal and Western Ghat regions. specially in the northeastern states which is the natural habitat of orchids. subsidies for farm development.6.500 for a mature flowering plant can contribute a lot towards improving the earnings of the people of the region. high productivity and greater market value which may range from Rs 1. APEDA and NABARD is providing incentives and assistance to the entrepreneurs and farmers by way of supply of quality planting materials. in India orchid cut-flowers are however minimum and the least. West Bengal (Darjeeling & Kalimpong) and Kerala are the leading States in India for Orchid cut-flower production.
Only thereafter CITES and quarantine documents will be issued. 6. The nursery will be jointly inspected by the Regional Deputy Director and the Chief Wildlife Warden of the state and the list of plants will be varified in the nursery. No wild collected orchids are allowed for trade. 7. The smugglers acquire orchids from the villagers who live adjacent to the forests at a price that is very negligible.learnt from various sources that a grey market for orchids exist in the north-eastern region. of Kolkata. This type of illegal smuggling of orchid would surely possess a great threat on the existence of indigenous breeds of orchids in days to come. or grower and submit the list of orchids grown by him to the Regional Deputy Director. 1972 is restricted as under: 1.1972”. 5. The government as well as non-governmental organisations has to keep a strict vigilance on this type of illegal activities and punish those who are associated with this type of illegal trade. . If any consignment is to be exported CITES and quarantine (isolation imposed on those who have been exposed to an infectious disease) inspection will be done jointly at the port of dispatch and sealed before dispatch.domestic and foreign. The trade of orchid is restricted under “The Wildlife Protection Act. 4. Legal Procurement Certificate should be obtained from the Chief Wildlife Warden for any orchid to be sold and exported. through the Chief Wildlife Warden of the State. his nursery will be registered for trade. 3. especially in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.The nursery-man is required to submit a quarterly return of receipts and disposal of orchids/ plants to the Plant Preservation Office regularly.per kilogram. Reports in the local newspapers have revealed that the villagers sell these valuable orchids at a price as low as Rs. 2. Wildlife Preservation. the particulars of which are shown below: The trade of orchids under the Willdlife (Protection) Act. All orchids meant for trade must be nursery grown and a declaration to that effect must be made by the individual nursery man. The government of India has also enforced a law in order to prevent this type of illegal trade and practices.10/. Based on the joint inspection report.
Source:Official webcite of Government of Arunachal Pradesh SUGGESTIONS FOR PRESERVING ORCHIDS: 1. certain changes have been effected Prime among them is the exclusion of Appendix-I flasked Orchid seedlings from control.all species Renanthera imschootiana & Vanda Coerulea. Literary works on orchids from the region is very negligiable. Laelia jongheana. Didiciea cuninghamii. laelia lobata. The goverment as well as N. paphiopedilum. Cattleya sinneri. All other species are on Appendix II .8. 2. The Orchids listed on Appendix-I include. Recently the Government of Assam declared the establishment of an orchid bank in the district of Jorhat. . Commercialising orchid cultivation would also help in preservation of different endangered as well endamic orchid species. 4. lycaste virginalis.G. In the recent CITES conference in Japan ( 1993) . 3. their characteristics as well as habitats is the need of the hour. Books depicting the richness of the region in terms of orchids accompanied with beautiful illustrations and photographs that can guide researchers and growers in identifying the different species. Hence flaked seedling of Orchids can now be exported without “ CITES” certificate and inspection which is subject to ratification by Government of India and the same is awaited. Cattleya triannae.Os should keep strict vigilance and punish those who are associated with illegal orchid trade 5. . In order to stop illegal orchid trade the utmost task on the part of the government as well as the non-governmantal organisations would be to educate the people in creating awareness among them regarding orchids in terms of their economic value and environmental significance. Reputed publishers should take this matter seriously and should come up to encourage the researchers to publish books on this topic. Similar initiatives in establishing such orchid banks in other part of the state would surely help in identifying and preserving the endemic as well as locally available orchids of the region.
The government should take initiatives in creating awareness.etc. With the development in communication specially with the coming up of internet. Universities. With awareness people will come to know that cultivation of orchids is not as tough as it seems. DICC. One way of doing this is through organising extensive promotional campaign. etc. It is very important to make the people of the region aware of the orchids and their products. 4. should take initiatives in encouraging the upcoming entrepreneurs to take up orchid cultivation on a commercial scale. etc. Publishing hoardings. can play a vital role in developing entrepreneurial/ marketing skills among the young orchid growers of the region so that these skills with experience becomes vital tools for development in future. NABARD. 6. Educational institutions like IIE. 5. tea-tourism. banners. The government of Arunachal Pradesh organizes ‘Orchid Festival’ every year to promote awareness among the people and also to encourage the youths to take up orchid cultivation as a profitable business.SUGGESTIONS FOR PROMOTING ORCHID MARKETING: 1. The government of other northeastern states can also showcase its rich orchid culture before the world arena by organising similar events in line with other tourism activities like adventure tourism. The growers of the region can take this advantage by developing their own websites showcasing their products in the global market. 2. nature tourism. depicting the rich varities of orchids of the region would surely attract the interest of the masses. posters. Institutions like APEDA. This festival also attracts many tourist from outside both indians and foreigners. accessibility to the world market has become quite easy. If . This also helps the state government to earn a good amount of tourist revenues. etc. ecotourism. 3. Facilities including financial assistance as well as technical know-how should be imparted to the potential entrepreneurs so that more and more youngstars get interested in this business. Awareness creates eagerness and thus contribute towards increase in demand for these products.
trade. should provide assistance to these growers in accessing the world market by providing necessary guidance and know-how. The lush green luxuriant forests right from the basins of great Brahmaputra and Barak Rivers to the high mountain peaks clad with fog. inspite of availability of different orchid species. they can play a more significant role by acting as a linkage between the growers and the governmental/financial institutions and providing/sharing information regarding various terms and conditions. cloud and snow all around are the real treasure houses of the flowering gemsthe ORCHIDS. 8. orchid growing can be developed as a cottage industry in this region.necessary. But in northeast India. NABARD. Various ornamental orchid plants that have high demand in the global market are found in abundance in this part of the country. APEDA. institutions like DICC. Emphasis in these areas can play a vital role in opening up of new avenues for the orchid growers of the region. NEC. Formal training on orchid cultivation on a commercial scale to the growers by governmental and Non-governmental institutions would surely increase the productivity as well as quality of their products. promotion. However. documentations associated with availing financial assistance. etc. CONCLUSION: Orchids are a thing of beauty and joy to the onlooker and also to the grower. Every year hundreds of new hybrids are developed through out the world. Hybrid orchids have very high demand in the global market. 9. etc. cultivation and development of hybrid orchids is very negligiable. This is mainly due to the absence of proper infrastructure and knowledge. Northeast India is indeed blessed with these exquisitely beautiful flowering plants in abundance. 7. Northeast Region having variety of ornamental orchids has great potentials in orchid trade industry. . NGOs can play an important role in developing awareness about orchids among the people of the region. Their are a few NGOs (like ‘IRAB-KIRAB’) in the region that has been working sincerely to promote awareness through organising various seminars and campaigns. In fact.
cut –flower production in the farm is the first and foremost economic activity that can be developed in Northeast Region. . This would not only help them earn more but would also contribute towards improving the economic scenario of the region and make northeast a “orchid destination” of the country. but orchid cultivation can be beneficial in terms of tourism also. there are orchid flowers that give scent (e. It can contribute a lot towards improving the unemployment scenario of the region. Satyrium nepalense.Orchids can play a major role in improving the economic condition of the Northeast as a whole and Assam in particular. Opening orchid sanctuary would not only attract tourists but would also help in the conservation of these beautiful flowers. No doubt. Further.g. Aerides odoratum. Therefore it is our duty to make the people aware of these flowers and promote commercial cultivation so that upcoming entrepreneurs venture into this profitable business. and Cymbidium munronianum) which could be extracted and sold.
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