Berhampur: With floriculture suffering a setback after cyclone Phailin last year, Odisha government is encouraging flower growers to set up greenhouses in Ganjam district to boost production in a big way.
"We have discussed with flower growers in the district and are motivating them to go for greenhouse cultivation to increase production," Horticulture Director S K Chadha said.
Chadha, who gave a hearing to flower growers and listened to their problems here, advised them to cultivate new varieties and export-quality flowers.
If greenhouses are set up, the exotic flower production in the district would increase manifold, said an expert.
Floriculture in Ganjam district received a setback following Cyclone Phailin in October last with flower-growing area shrinking to 300 acre from 700 acre in the aftermath of the disaster, official figures said.
"Farmers are not interested to invest in floriculture as banks are not coming forward to finance such cultivation. The growers are also not getting remunerative prices for their produce due to lack of market linkage," general secretary of Ganjam District Flower Growers` Association, Sridhar Verma said.
Flower growers also demanded insurance for damage like other crops. "In northeast and some southern states, floriculture is covered under insurance," said Verma.
Since Ganjam is vulnerable to natural calamities and there are high chances of crop loss, insurance coverage is a necessity, he added.
Several flower growers expressed dissatisfaction over non-functioning of the flower market and training centre at Ambapur, on the outskirts of the town.
While Rs 1.62 crore was spent under Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana, Rs 93 lakh was borne by Regional Marketing Cooperative Society (RMCS) for the project, official sources said.
The centre was inaugurated by chief minister Naveen Patnaik in October 2012. It was built jointly by agriculture department and RMCS (Digaphandi) on an acre, Verma said.
"There is a building without any facilities," a flower grower alleged.