Strategic planning for orchid farming as a profitable enterprise and agri-tourism component
The agro-climatic situations in Kerala, one among the small states of India, are ideal for production of orchids, especially under protected conditions. Kerala has lessons to learn from the state Sikkim, the north-east state of India, in how they flourish in terms of employment and income generation through introduction and export-oriented cultivation of orchids as a lucrative livelihood for the rural women. This has been possible due to the easy farming method of orchids in the favorable agro-climatic conditions. Given its orchid-growing potential, Kerala can be at the forefront of the international orchid trade. Cultivation of orchids will not only generate employment opportunities and bring high return for the farmers but also reduce import and save foreign currency. High ranges of Kerala, the most ideal region for commercializing orchid cultivation, remain as a potential zone still to be exploited. Strategies have to be streamlined to ensure dissemination of technological ideas about farming of orchids in already existing plantations in high ranges of Kerala as a profitable intercrop. Side by side, innovation of ways and means for further expansion of cultivation of this crop as a profitable venture can be developed. In this context, commercial orchid farming under hi-tech mode in a flori-village format looks promising. All that it requires is addressing a few structural issues. A booming orchid industry would not only do wonders for the local economy but also add another dimension to the State's efforts on women empowerment.
Rajendran, P. and Smitha, R. 2017. Strategic planning for orchid farming as a profitable enterprise and agri-tourism component. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1165:27-32
employment, income generation, women empowerment, Kerala