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Budding orchid business hope for state

- Bhubaneswar-based Regional Plant Resource Centre develops nine varieties of flower
Orchids at the Regional Plant Resource Centre in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 3: The city-based Regional Plant Resource Centre (RPRC) has developed nine varieties of orchids for commercial use by floriculturists and plant lovers to give a boost to orchid production in the state.

Of late, the state has achieved considerable harvest of Dutch rose and gerbera. Gladiolus, in particular, is now abundantly available here.

RPRC scientists have developed these nine varieties through the tissue culture method at their laboratory from three varieties of orchids — dendrobium, phalaenopsis and vanda. The ones that are ready to be launched in the market in the near future were developed last year.

Principal scientist, taxonomy and conservation division, RPRC, Bhubaneswar, Pratap Chandra Panda told The Telegraph: “Our institute has already made a mark by producing quality saplings of several varieties of raw banana which ultimately brought a revolution in raw banana production in the state. It has helped the state in minimising dependency on Andhra Pradesh. With the development of new orchids for commercial production, we hope to replicate a similar success story in floriculture as well.”

“Orchids are in great demand in the metros and other business capitals across the country, but as it has not become popular in Odisha we need to create varieties so that common people will be more interested in orchids, their use and cultivation,” said Panda.

Subrat Prusty, director of MGM Agri Venture at Ugratara in Khurda district said: “As professional floriculture producers, we have not yet started producing orchids in Odisha, but in the near future we are going to start on an experimental basis either in Phulbani or Boudh district. We will be interested to use the orchids developed by RPRC at our facilities as we have faith in the research and development work at the institute.”

In the winter months since last year MGM Agri Venture at Ugratara and Bhumi Agrotech at Tangi in Cuttack district have started reaping an impressive harvest of Dutch roses and gerbera.

Market sources said some producers were able to send Dutch roses to other states generating high hopes among other floriculturists who are interested in starting up ventures in the state.

Prusty said: “The environment in many districts are conducive to producing flowers, especially exclusive varieties.”