Inside one of the poly houses at the Centre of Excellence (CoE), Jeedimetla, an experiment has been on for the last two years. The poly house has rows of raised platforms on which are 10,000 plants each of Sonia White and Sonia Red varieties of Dendrobium orchids. Beneath these platforms are micro sprinklers, which when in operation, create a mist-like atmosphere within the poly house. These, coupled with rooftop sprinklers, help reduce the temperature and increase the humidity levels that are required to grow orchids.
Telangana’s arid weather conditions are not conducive to grow orchids. However, there’s a growing demand for orchids in the commercial market in Hyderabad and other urban pockets of the State. In recent years, a few farmers in Sangareddy and Medak districts have begun growing orchids, knowing that each flower stalk can fetch a price of ₹10 to ₹20 [0.13-0.26 EUR] in the market.
The CoE began experimenting in 2017. The horticulture department narrowed down on genus Dendrobium, one of the widely cultivated orchids for commercial use in India and abroad.