Sikkim's flower power: Gangtok blooms in exotic colours | SupportBiz


Sikkim's flower power: Gangtok blooms in exotic colours

Daisy, pansies, peonies, exotic seasonal blooms and orchids are the colours of this picture-postcard capital of this Himalayan state that opened its door to visitors with the inauguration of the International Flower Show 2013.

Nearly 80 exhibitors, including eight foreign ones from Europe and US, are taking part in the five-day show (Feb 23-27) that aims to push Sikkim's flower power as a potential tourism and revenue generating option to the world.

Floriculture contributes to just about a meagre one percent of the state's revenue or even less despite the immense possibility it offers as a lucrative economic activity.

"Sikkim, together with Himalayan states like Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir that are located 3,500 ft above sea level, are conducive to floriculture," Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling said.

These states have the potential to meet the country's demand for flowers. Countries like China, Thailand and the Netherlands flood our markets. It could become an attractive trade sector and as a profession," Chamling said.

The venue of the International Flower Show is the Saramsa Garden, nearly 14 km from the Gangtok city in the outskirts.

Five years ago in 2008, the government decided to promote floriculture with a platform for "knowledge sharing, sensitising farmers, to explore the potential for high value floriculture, provide an umbrella to stakeholders and enhance investment in the sector to push flower trade", an official of the state's horticulture department explained.

This year, the fare on display is more lavish and attractively curated with textual identification and related information.

A break-up of Sikkim's floral wealth reveals that the state a treasure chest to 600 varieties of orchids, nearly 250 species of trees, 150 varieties of gladioli and nearly 50 strains of rhododendrons.