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First flight to US for flowers from state

Calcutta, May 6: Oriental lilies, orchids and birds of paradise from Bengal will fly to Big Apple on Sunday.

For the first time, a consignment of flowers from the state will be sent to the US.

An official of the Food Processing and Horticulture Corporation today said the $5,000 consignment would be sent to New York in a British Airways flight. “All the three varieties are now cultivated in Kalimpong,” said Subrata Basu.

The importers have also expressed interest in other varieties like the golden rod, jarbera and tube rose.

The corporation started exporting flowers in 2002 and tube roses, jarberas and cock’s combs from Bengal already have a market in the UK, the Netherlands and West Asia. Last year, the corporation earned Rs 1 crore selling flowers abroad. With the offer from the US, it has broken new ground.

“The corporation is expecting a large export order for fruits and vegetables this year. We are planning to export Himsagar mangoes to the UK and Singapore,” Bose said. Samples of litchi, potato and several varieties of flowers were sent to Bangkok yesterday, he added.

The corporation has also taken up a Rs 20-crore project to construct a flower trade complex of international standards at the Mullickghat market.

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