How to develop floriculture?
Muhammad Qasim, Tanveer Ahmad & Iftikhar Ahmad
Pakistan has negligible share in worldwide floriculture
trade despite having fertile lands, best irrigation
system, and rich resources to venture in this
enterprising business which not only generates rural
employment but also fetches precious foreign exchange.
the total floriculture trade, cut-flowers sales account
for 50 per cent and plants 41 per cent; bulb and cut
foliage make up rest of nine per cent. Eight countries
export 74 per cent of the value of the world’s
floriculture crops — the Netherlands, Columbia, Israel,
Italy, Belgium, Denmark, the US and Ecuador. More than
50 per cent of the floriculture products come from the
If we compare the resources of Pakistan with the
Netherlands, we have an area 20 times more, manpower 9
to 10 times more and better climate, soil and irrigation
system. What we are lacking is the modern production
Secondly, planning policies are not strong enough to
attract people towards this potential enterprise. Many
developing have emerged as successful growers and
exporters of flowers in the recent past.
In Pakistan, floriculture is viewed as a lucrative
enterprise for poverty alleviation. Some initiatives
have also been taken for the promotion of floriculture
to enter the global floriculture trade. Policy makers
need to draw upon the experience of other countries.
Our production and marketing needs to be streamlined in
accordance with their policies that may help in
flourishing floriculture industry. Policies should be
planned on thorough review of enterprise, market demand,
and economic priorities.
The right policies must come from the government while
the creativity lies in the hands of private sector.
Efficacy of technical assistance for export
diversification is linked with the product and market
development. National expertise and technical assistance
should be provided for improved surveys, feasibility
studies and formulation of export strategies. This will
strengthen the national capacity to pursue export
Floriculture industry needs technical assistance in
sectors like improvement in planting material, seed
production and provision of controlled environment and
infrastructure for post harvest care. Improved planting
material and seed production can be achieved and
enhanced through the research activities.
The government and public sector should sort out the
problems of the formers and then focus on the research
on them. Through strong extension activities, the
farmers can be benefited by the results of the research.
Technical assistance is also required for post harvest
infrastructure that includes pre-cooling, refrigerated
vans for transportation and air-conditioned storage
Another aspect to be considered is investment. For
example, gladiolus cultivation requires almost Rs0.7
million per hectare. This huge investment can not be
paid by the ordinary farmer. This problem can be solved
by two ways. Firstly, corporate farming should be
introduced to induct modern technology. Secondly, the
investment problem can be solved by corporate farming.
Our surveys suggest that majority of farmers involved in
floriculture trade are uneducated. Educating farmers on
production and post harvest technology and specifically
on marketing procedures may yield some good results.
In the later stage when huge investments are made and
enterprises are established, graduates from the
universities will be absorbed in the industry. Corporate
farming provides opportunities to absorb graduates in
the industry and at the same time may be helpful in the
Coping with the international marketing demands, a clear
approach on maintaining international standards should
be adopted. Our industry can flourish, if Horticulture
Development and Export Board (PHEDB) encourages
investments and sets up centres for educating the
farmers about the modern trends in floriculture and
helps the farmers in marketing their products
maintaining the high standards. The policies can be
successful only when the awareness through education is
imparted to the growers to compete with the farmers of
the advanced countries.
Courtesy: The DAWN