Aug 25 - 31, 2008

There is a great need and scope for value addition in floriculture products through processing, packaging and supply chain management. This would increase the farm income, generate employment opportunities and help to reduce poverty. Value addition in floriculture can thus be used as a poverty alleviation measure. Floriculture is a culture: a lifestyle that demands commitment. Working in floriculture is beneficial; however, a successful operation is needed much more. It requires a good deal of highly specialized knowledge and appropriate skills as the floriculture industry is highly technical and scientific and is labour intensive. Good management skills are necessary for running this business efficiently and profitably.

Floriculture has emerged as a major diversification option in agri-business in recent years. The product-wise groupings in floriculture are cut flower (fresh), bulbs and tubes, live potted plants, dried plants, dried flowers etc. The position of floriculture in Pakistan has not been very encouraging, however, the trend and popularity for floricultural products is rapidly increasing and prospects for expansion of this business are very good, bright and lucrative. Floriculture is likely to be one of the most successful components of the presently expanding and intensifying horticultural industry.

Like any other business to survive and flourish, floriculture must make profits. Pre-planning is always required for starting any business. Thus a considerable time and study before making a business decision on the "top of crop" and "location" is necessary. The consumption is getting diversified towards value added floral products, including essences, perfumes and other by-products prepared from flowers. It is essential for production to respond to these shifts in consumption. The floral processing industry holds considerable potential in this regard to emerge as main driver of diversification of agriculture a real success like our Green Revolution, involving supply of inputs in a well organized and coordinated manner, acquisition and application of the modern and progressive technologies, improved seeds and extension of credit. There is naturally a need for the creation of smaller packages for value addition in floriculture. The department of Floriculture Punjab has started training programmes for public awareness since 1987 for the promotion of floriculture.

They have been providing advisory services free of cost in Bagh-e-Jinnah, Lahore. These training programmes are:

i) one year training ii) three months training for those in service and

iii) one year of supervisory level course.

The basic education for the trainees for supervisory level course is F.Sc.-Pre-medical with Botany as compulsory subject. This course facilitates the trainees to get an employment in supervisory category in horticulture in government/semi-government departments and private concerns. This course usually starts in September. Three months training course is availed by officials/workers in nurseries, different departments and private concerns. Educated people fond of gardening also study this course to boost their home and lawn gardens. This course starts in June and October every year. All these courses are also meant to enable ladies to take care of domestic floriculture, landscaping and kitchen gardening.

Research is also going on to increase the age of freshness, colour and fragrance of flowers. Five agri-production and dissemination centres have been established in Islamabad on the following six species of flowers: Gladiolus, Cut Rose Gerber, Carnation, Chrysanthemum and Tube Rose.

Places most suitable for floriculture are Murree, Fort Monro (D.G. Khan) and Sawan Valley (Sargodha). A suitable temperature for that purpose is 8-28 degrees. Well known flower gardens in Lahore are Gulshan-e-Fatima (Bagh-e-Jinnah) and Beri Garden near Alhamra Centre.

Horticulture Society of Pakistan and other flower fans hold exhibitions from time to time, wherein national and international flower farmers, fans and facilitators take part with great enthusiasm and interest. .

ROSES: Roses are one of the most popular groups of ornamental plants having a long history and are among the most economically important ornamental crops through-out the world. Rose has been a companion of mankind since ancient times, mainly for the rose fragrance, as also for rose oil and rose water and for cosmetic and medical purposes. For value added rose products to be commercially successful, it is recommended that rose products should be able to fulfill gap in the market. Adding value also adds to the cost of production but careful planning and test marketing can successfully increase the net cash return to a small scale enterprise. Value addition ensures high premium to the growers, while providing more acceptable quality products for the domestic and export market, and it provides the most important aspects of marketing and give the customer a reason to buy these products. Export of value added rose products, e.g. rose oil (extracted in small units set up in a production zone) - rather than the raw material like rose petals, can help generate revenue in international market

USES & BENEFITS: Rose water is an important rose product. The uses of rose waster are varied and numerous. More recently it has been introduced as a skin toner and many people use it in aromatherapy. As it is considered to have anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties, it is frequently used in making hand wash and mouth wash.

In Iran rose water is used for wide range ailments. It is often drunk after meal to boost the digestive system. The effects of rose water on the digestive system are detoxifying, anti-inflammatory and strengthening. It can be used to treat constipation and nausea and is also considered to have a tonic effect on the liver and gall bladder. Rose water can also benefit the respiratory system and can be useful in treating coughs and allergy-related respiratory complaints. Dry rose petals can actually be drunk as tea imparting a feeling of well being, calming the nerves and settling the stomach.

ROSE OIL: When the rose is distilled, it produces a supremely wonderful essential oil known as Attar of rose or Otto. The total oil production of Rose Otto and Absolute in the world is estimated to be 17 tons only. The quality criteria for the market are critical when producing an essential oil. A commercial sample is needed to test the market and value opportunities for sale and to ensure that the oil meets the market standard. Primarily, evaluation of rose oil and Otto for test and confirmation of its acceptability of the market is needed.

It takes about 1,000 grams of rose petals to create only 0.1 gram of essential oil of Rose. Rose oil is extensively used in the perfume industry. It is also used in the manufacture of toiletries and cosmetics and at times as a flavouring agent. Rose oil is a pleasant and safe oil to be used in aromatherapy and is suitable for a variety of uses. It is expensive; however, its strength ensures that one or two drops added to a blend will transform it. Rose oil is beneficial to use in times of stress and will bring relief for many stress-related conditions.

At present four different rose species are being used to make rose products, which include rose damacena, rose centifolia, rose barboniana, Gruz-n-tapliz. Out of these species, rose damacena produces premium quality oil; however, the only handicap is that production of flowers is for a very short period.

MOUTH WASH: Possessing antiseptic quality rose based mouthwash helps in hygiene and bad odour. A few drops diluted in a tumbler of warm water can provide a refreshing mouthwash.

ROSE CREAMS: It is made from the oil of Rosa centifolia and it has soothing effect on skin burn and cuts. It moistens the skin in dry weather and keeps it nourishing.

POTPOURRI: These days the art of preserving the beauty, colour and fragrance of roses has many forms including dried rose blossoms used in wreaths or unusual table decorations to the creation of rose potpourris.

ROSE JAM AND MARMALADE: In ordinary parlance rose jam is known as Gulkand, which is traditionally used as a cooling tonic to beat fatigue, lethargy, muscular aches, biliousness, itching etc. It has been found highly useful in problems relating to heavy menstrual discharge and white discharge in women. It has beneficial effect on intestines, improving digestion and metabolism. This also helps in removing pimples. For children having worms in intestines, Gulkand can destroy the worms in a fortnight and it helps reducing hyperacidity.

EXPORT OF FLORICULTURAL PRODUCTS: World trade of flowers and ornamentals has touched 50 billion dollars while export is around 10 billion dollars excluding essential oils. The share of cut flowers is 50 percent in the export value, whereas 41 percent is by plants and cut foliage and 9 percent by bulbs.

The Netherlands's share among the nine top exporting cut flower countries is 58 percent while Colombia Ecuador, Kenya and Thailand all combined make 24 percent of the export value. Pakistan exported to Bangladesh rose worth $115 million in fiscal year 2003, worth $195 in 2004 and worth $206 million in 2005.

Professor Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Khan, UAF Vice Chancellor while addressing the participants of one-day workshop on Floriculture and Landscape Management organized by the Institute of Horticulture Sciences (HIS) in collaboration with Higher Education Commission (HEC) Islamabad, maintained that Pakistan has great potentials and diversified climatic conditions, however, it is not exploiting its potentials to achieve its due share in the international export of floriculture products. He expressed that the importing countries like U.K., Germany and USA are enjoying major share in Worldwide Floriculture imports. He said that the trade in ornamentals is rising by 10 percent annually. He expressed his concern over the lowest productivity of cut flowers in Pakistan.

It was reiterated in the workshop that considering that the floriculture is and will continue to be a lucrative business the government needs to consolidate its position in the commercial floricultural products. Concerted efforts on the part of the planners and policy makers as well as producers are needed to achieve this goal. Institute of Horticultural Sciences University of Agriculture, Faisalabad is concentrating on development of floriculture as an industry in the country. A major mandate of this institute as informed by the authorities of the institute is the transfer of technologies through on-farm demonstrations and training. As planned by them, the extension service network of the agricultural university and agricultural research stations in the region could also be harnessed for bringing about this transfer.