80% of India’s orchids are transported from Thailand. Barring a few North-Eastern states, orchid farming is considered to be a risky proposition because of the heavy investment required to grow the crop. The climatic conditions of Telangana are not conducive to the growth of the flower crop. However, a couple of farmers have now taken to orchid farming, a crop which was previously never heard of in the state.
According to the State Horticulture Department, the orchid farmers in the state have been supplying orchids to 500 auditoriums in the state which were earlier dependent on imports from Thailand. Speaking to TNM, KR Latha, Assistant Director of the Horticulture Department, says this has been possible because of the 75% subsidy given to the farmers in setting up the polyhouse, a greenhouse-like setup, required to maintain ideal climatic conditions for the growth of orchids.
At the Centre of Excellence in Jeedimetla, where the horticulture crops are grown, the department has planted the Sonia Red and Sonia White varieties of the Dendrobium orchid flower. The methods to grow these have been introduced to the farmers as well. There are micro-sprinklers beneath the crop, which cool down the temperature inside the polyhouse and help maintain levels of humidity.