Lahore    -    The country can earn huge foreign exchange by increasing floriculture exports from Punjab. This was stated by Punjab Minister for Agriculture Malik Nouman Ahmed Langrial while presiding over a meeting on the project for the cultivation and promotion of flowers.

At the meeting, Director Floriculture Malik Abid Mehmood, said that flowers worth Rs37.5 million are being exported from Pakistan. It was told in the meeting that floriculture capture $67 billion market in the world, which is growing at a rate of 10percent annually but Pakistan’s share is very low.

The present government is paying special attention to the cultivation of flowers and the provision of facilities for their export. At present, about 14,000 acres of flowers are cultivated in Punjab, out of which 6823 acres of red roses are being cultivated, Director Floriculture said at the meeting. Minister for Agriculture Punjab termed this project of development of floriculture and export of flowers as important for the farmers and the economy of the country. Rs451.725 million will be spent in 3 years.

Out of this amount, Rs400 million will be provided by the Government of Punjab while Rs51.725 million will be provided by flower growers. It was briefed in the meeting that 150 exhibition plots will be set up in which 32 plots would be exhibited on government farms and 118 plots will be set up to showcase the latest technology on farms of flower growers.

In addition, 50 exhibition plots will be set up in South Punjab. Farmers will be provided commercial floriculture and export training along with technology demonstration. The Agriculture Minister further said that under this scheme, the provision of cold storage, auction hall, mechanical dehydrator and Rose water plants for flowers in Patuki, Tiba Sultanpur and Chunian will significantly increase the income of the farmers and increase the sale of flowers. At the meeting the Minister for Agriculture was informed that Bagh-e-Jinnah was under the control of Agriculture Department from 1904 to 2009 but the previous government handed it over to the PHA for the personal interest of some people. He was told that Bagh-e-Jinnah is the largest garden in South Asia with over 6,000 different types of trees.