Flower cheers for tissue lab

Kalimpong, July 31: Flowery days are here for Kalimpong.

The West Bengal Comprehensive Area Development Corporation has sent a proposal to the state panchayat and rural development department to set up a tissue culture laboratory here with the aim of mass production of cut flowers.

“There is a dire necessity of such a laboratory here, if we are to go in for large scale production and meet the demands of those who buy in bulk. At present, seedlings are brought from places as far as Pune, making it an expensive affair,” said Ashok Pradhan, agriculture technical officer of Project Comprehensive Area Development Corporation (CADC) here.

“Besides, every three years, when a plant’s production capacity degenerates, we have to buy seedlings again. But if a laboratory is set up, we will be able to get more than a lakh of seedlings at reduced prices,” he added.

Taking all this into consideration, a proposal for the laboratory—worth Rs 3 crore—was sent to the government last month.

The launch of training programmes in floriculture and horticulture for self-help groups under the Swarna Jyoti Gram Swarojgar Yojna in 2003 has already witnessed a significant increase in the number of growers of cut flowers.

Last year, three officials from the CADC also underwent a training on tissue culture.

“Till now, we have trained about 900 growers from different places in the district under the programme funded by the District Rural Development Cell. Some of those who have started growing cut flowers in this way have also reported a significant increase in the demand for flowers,” said Pradhan.


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