Floriculture during 2011-12 covered an area of

Floriculture during 2011-12 covered an area of 0.19 million hectare with a production of 1.03 million tonnes of loose flowers and 69,027 million number of cut flower. Traditional flowers such as jasmine, marigold, chrysanthemum, tubrose, crossandra and aster are commonly grown.

Commercial cultivation of cut flowers such as rose, orchids, gladiolus, carnation, anthurium, gerbera and lilies has also become popular. Although flower cultivation has been practised in India since time immemorial, floriculture has blossomed into a viable business only in recent years.

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Considering the potential of this sector for generation of income and employment opportunities, promotion of involvement of women and enhancement of exports, it has been identified as an Extreme Focus Area for exports by the Government.

Medicinal and Aromatic Plants:

This sub-sector has high potential for health management considering the importance being given to herbal products. Concerted efforts have been made to consume the bio-diversity of the herbal wealth by establishing 226 hectares of herbal gardens along with 16 nurseries to provide quality planting material. Besides, 335 hectares have been developed for production of quality planting material of aromatic plants.

More than 6,000 demonstration-cum-seed production plots have been established in the farmer’s field. India’s forest abounds in medicinal herbs, shrubs and trees. It is estimated that they number over 4,000 species.

The Eastern and Western Himalayas and the Nilgiris are known to be the natural abodes of many such plants. Some of these plants are Datura, Ipecac, Rauwolfia, Tulis or Ocimum sanctum, nux- vomica, Azadirachta indica or neem, Butea monosperma or Palas, Chinchona, Amla, Vasaka, Atropa belladona etc.