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regular-article-logo Sunday, 21 April 2024

Bengal horticulture department unveils two-day festival to promote orchid cultivation

The Bengal Orchid Festival 2023 was inaugurated by state horticulture minister Arup Roy at a firm in Mohitnagar, which is on the outskirts of Jalpaiguri, on Wednesday

Our Correspondent Jalpaiguri Published 14.12.23, 06:33 AM
Orchids on display at the Bengal Orchid Festival 2023 in Jalpaiguri on Wednesday.

Orchids on display at the Bengal Orchid Festival 2023 in Jalpaiguri on Wednesday. Picture by Biplab Basak

The Bengal horticulture department is organising a two-day festival to promote the cultivation of orchids in the state.

The Bengal Orchid Festival 2023 was inaugurated by state horticulture minister Arup Roy at a firm in Mohitnagar, which is on the outskirts of Jalpaiguri, on Wednesday.

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“Hundreds of people are into orchid cultivation in the Darjeeling and the Kalimpong hills and also in some other districts of the state. We want more and more people to start cultivating orchids as the flowers fetch decent prices on national and international markets,” said Roy.

Farmers from Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri, East Midnapore, South-24 Parganas and Bankura districts have displayed 84 varieties of orchids.

“There are counters from where farmers can buy high-quality saplings, most of which have been brought from Thailand. The farmers also have the opportunity to interact with experts of the department and some people from Thailand who are attending the event,” said a senior official of the department.

In this region, orchids of different varieties are predominately cultivated in different locations of Kalimpong district and the neighbouring state of Sikkim.

However, over the past few years, young cultivators from Darjeeling, Siliguri subdivision and even Jalpaiguri started cultivating the decorative flower plants which have a huge demand.

“Orchids are used in perfumery and are also used in bouquets and decorations at different social and cultural events. There are a number of species which can be grown even in the plains. That is why a section of farmers in districts like East Midnapore and Bankura is also into cultivation,” the official added.

Sources have said to start orchid cultivation, the principal requirement is a poly house where the saplings are nurtured in a controlled environment.

“The state government provides a subsidy to the tune of 50 per cent to set up a poly house. Once it is ready, the remaining expenditure is comparatively less,” said an expert.

On Thursday, officials of the department will arrange interactions between the farmers and bankers so that the cultivators can get loans to start or expand their cultivation.

“We will help them in developing market linkage with exporters and other potential buyers,” an official said.

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