The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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State push to flower trade

Calcutta, March 23: With growing demand for the state’s flowers in the global market, the government has decided to help entrepreneurs set up around 100 green houses in different parts of West Bengal to meet international quality.

“The government will provide all necessary assistance to new entrepreneurs,” said Sudhangshu Sil, senior CPM leader and chairman of the Mullickghat Phool Bazar Parichalan Samity. “The state horticulture department will make available to the entrepreneurs the Central government’s subsidy. The youth affairs department has also pledged to extend help. Md Salim, the department’s minister, has proposed to give it the shape of a cooperative movement,” Sil said.

Export orders for flowers are growing every day. “Orders from the US, Holland and other parts of Europe are flooding in,” Sil said. The order from the US is for 20,000 stems of tuberose per week, and, from Holland, five lakh rose stems every week. “Tuberose of West Bengal is considered top quality and we are getting bulk orders,” he said.

“Westland Auction, the biggest auction centre in Holland, has a great demand for roses,” an official said. “However, the farmers of West Bengal are not being able to adapt to international technology,” he added.

Officials said there was a need for specially equipped cold storages, refrigerator vans for transport, packaging centres and sorting houses. “If the green houses are being built, it would be a tremendous boost to flower cultivation in the state. We do not require extra land. The technical knowhow will be transferred to the entrepreneurs free of cost,” a senior horticulture department official said.

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