Although tulip cultivation in India has been largely limited to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the hilly regions of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have a huge potential for growing this highly commercial flower.
To commercialise tulip cultivation in Himachal, scientists of the department of floriculture and landscape architecture from Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni, have introduced its 42 cultivars at the university farms. As part of the All-India Coordinated Floriculture Improvement Project, the department had undertaken preliminary work on the flower in the early ’90s.
Dr Puja Sharma, Dr SR Dhiman, and Dr Bharti Kashyap, scientists of the department of floriculture and landscape architecture are working on the project. They are evaluating different varieties for various growth and flowering parameters to assess their suitability for commercial cultivation in the mid and high-hill of the state. They are working to propagate suitable varieties as well as supplying planting material besides equipping farmers with the technical know-how.
“Owing to their high demand in the market, especially during the wedding and festive season, tulips fetch good returns for farmers. Apart from diversification of the flower industry in the state, farmers have a ready market with limited competition, mainly from farmers from J&K. Tulips make an excellent potted plant, cut flowers and can be used in landscaping. Farmers can also benefit from bulb production,” said Dr YC Gupta, professor and head, department of floriculture and landscape architecture.