J&K admn gears up to tap country’s ₹400-crore tulip market
Soon after throwing the Tulip Garden open to public on Sunday, J&K lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha asked the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) vice-chancellor to make arrangements to grow tulip’s planting material in the UT instead of relying on imports
At a time when Asia’s largest tulip garden is blooming, mesmerising the visitors, the J&K government is planning to tap the country’s local floral markets.
The number of tulips inside the park have increased manifold with the passage of time and more varieties are now grown in Kashmir.
Last year, 3.6 lakh tourists had visited the garden and officials are hopeful that the figure will cross the five-lakh mark this season.
Soon after throwing the Tulip Garden open to public on Sunday, J&K lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha asked the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) vice-chancellor to make arrangements to grow tulip’s planting material in the UT instead of relying on imports.
“The effort will ensure that J&K is able to tap the ₹400-crore market of tulips in the country,” Sinha said.
The 1.6 million flower bulbs at the garden include 68 types of red, yellow, pink, white, purple, blue, yellow and multicolor tulips and range from early blooming, mid-blooming and late-blooming varieties.
Currently, 25%-30% are in full bloom. There also are other spring flowers like hyacinths and daffodils in the garden, which saw a good rush of visitors on its opening day.
Besides, the Srinagar park, Sanasar tulip garden in Jammu with 2.75 lakh bulbs of 25 varieties will also be opened for the tourists.
SKUAST has already set up a team of researchers and scientists that is exploring technology to become self-sufficient in tulip bulb production.
“We are already working on this project. And if turns out to be successful, then tulips will also be able to generate revenue and jobs for youths in Kashmir,” said an officer of SKUAST.
“Tulips have a large market across the country and are in great demand,” he added.
Deputy director of the floriculture department, Shayiq Rasool, said they import 30% of tulips every year. “The SKUAST is now looking for ways to become self-sufficient in tulip production,” Rasool added.
Kashmir’s connection with tulips traces its origin back to hundreds of years when the flowers were grown on muddy rooftops of houses. Gradually, people started planting them in kitchen gardens and flower beds. In 2005-06, the then state government decided to convert Siraj Bagh into a regal tulip garden, keeping up with Kashmir’s historical ties with the flower variety.