The export has increased from 546.71 crore in 2017 to almost 600 crore till February 2018. (HT FILE PHOTO) The Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) data has projected a 600-crore worth floriculture export for 2018, owing to the 20 per cent annual growth in terms of exports in the floriculture industry of India in the last decade. The export has increased from 546.71 crore in 2017 to almost 600 crore till February 2018. The data of APEDA was shared by S Jafar Naqvi, president, iFlora (Indian Flowers and Ornamental Plants Welfare Association) in Pune, during a press conference organised to announce the 13th edition of the annual premier event International Flora Expo 2018. The expo will be held from February 23 to 25 at the Hindustan Antibiotics Exhibition Ground, Pimpri. Actor Jackie Shroff will inaugurate the expo. Speaking on the occasion, Naqvi said, “The domestic flower trade has seen a huge upswing, both in terms of volume and value, over the past decade. Cultural and seasonal factors have turned floriculture into one of the vital commercial trades in agriculture. Commercial floriculture in India is now viewed as a fast-growing industry, particularly under the protected environment of greenhouses. On the exports front, it has been steadily growing over 20% annually (barring year 2005-2006). The country has exported 22,000 metric tonnes of floriculture products worth of Rs.547 crore ($ 82 m) in 2016-17. Major export destinations were the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates.” In India, flowers, like rose, gerbera and carnish, are used on every occasion, ranging from birth to religious festivities, offering worship, marriages, functions and ceremonies. Director of Rise n Shine Biotech, Bhagyashree Patil, said, “We are in this business since 2005, but in the recent years, floriculture has become a booming industry. As far as Maharashtra floriculture industry is concerned, we are creating awareness among the farmers and giving them advanced training through iFlora.” The 13th International Flora Expo 2018 has been organised aiming for an inclusive growth for the industry and to strengthen the trade bonds with new business opportunities and explore the range of products and markets. The concurrent event, the 12th International Landscape and Gardening Expo 2018 will showcase the industry’s latest products and services. The event is expecting a mega participation, including visitors from over 150 countries who will showcase vast varieties of flowers and plants.