Kashmir Sends Tulips To Other States, With Love

Kashmir Sends Tulips To Other States, With Love

19 February 2012
PTI


Srinagar: Asia’s largest tulip garden in Kashmir, Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, was started in 2008 with an aim of advancing tourist season but floriculturists here have seized on a business opportunity by introducing the flowers on a commercial scale. More and more farmers in Kashmir are taking to tulip cultivation due to the high returns of cut flower business, said an official of Floriculture department. “The cost of rearing a tulip bulb into a cut flower is Rs 20 to Rs 22 including all expenses like labour, transportation and heating facilities,” he added 'The 'Kashmir Tulip' was introduced as cut flower on commercial scale on Christmas eve and the first order was supplied to Florista, a flower chain in Mumbai,' says Javed Ahmad Shah, in-charge of the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden. The bloom in extreme harsh winter was possible due to the introduction of hi-tech poly-houses – an experiment started last year – which bore the results this year, he added. 'Earlier, tulips in India were mostly imported from Holland. But if everything goes as per plan, we shall have Kashmir tulip catering to all the markets in the country,' Shah said. The Kashmir tulip is currently being sent to markets in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Shah says the private growers got orders even on Valentine's Day from these cities, indicating that the 'rose' might soon turn red by the competition it will face from tulips. “An expert from Holland had recently visited Kashmir to train the tulip farmers from the valley in cultivation and post harvest techniques,' he added. The expert was of the opinion that Kashmir has the best climate, soil and water for tulip cultivation.