This Valentine season, Indian rose growers are expecting a 15% increase in rose exports thanks to good weather conditions, timely harvesting and easily availability of trained labour, all of which has led to an increase in export quality roses.According to Praveen Sharma, president of the Talegaon-based Indian Society of Floriculture Professionals (ISFP), the total exports of roses is expected to touch Rs.20 crore in February 2017, as against Rs.16 crore in 2016.“This Valentine season has begun on a good note for Indian rose growers has begun on good note,” Sharma said, observing that the time of harvesting is critical for rose export. The quality of roses and the rates in the international markets depends heavily on this, he said. Indian roses are primarily exported to UK (35% of total exports), Australia ( 19 %) and Japan (18%), followed by special orders for Valentine season by Malaysia, Singapore and Gulf countries.The current price for Indian roses stood at Rs.900 for 18 stems in the UK. Premium rose varieties of 6 cm bud sizes and 70 cm stems are fetching Rs.185 per rose in the UK market, Sharma said.Maval taluka in Pune district is a major floriculture hub for the cultivation of export quality flowers in the country is from Pune District in Maval Taluka. This Valentine season, Maval taluka has recorded exports of Rs.71 lakh, Mukund Thakar, president Pavana Flower Growers Association said in an interview.“This year there is higher demand for ‘Top Secret’ variety of roses. Our total exports increased from Rs.60 lakh last year to Rs.71 lakh this year. We have around 150 rose grower in our area,” he said. According to Thakar, total exports from Pune district which included rose growing areas like Khed, Haveli, Mulshi and Hadapsar, amounted to Rs.1.5 crore.Besides Maharashtra, the major rose growing states in the country include Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and West Bengal. The exports are mainly from Mumbai and Bangalore airports, with Mumbai accounting for more than 60% of the shipments for the Valentine season.