Floriculture has emerged as a viable diversification option in the agri-business. It is a rapidly expanding dynamic industry recording a growth rate of more than 15 percent per annum in the last two decades. Rapid urbanization increased income levels and changes in social values resulted in an increase of domestic market both for modern (cut flowers) as well as traditional (loose flowers) flowers significantly. Improvement in the general level of well-being in the country and increased affluence particularly among the middle class is also another reason for the increase in the volume of the local flower market. The quantum of Indian floricultural exports, although, increased manifold since the early nineties, still there is huge scope to become a key player in the world flower trade.
The floriculture industry in India is characterized by growing traditional flowers (loose flowers) and cut flowers under open field conditions and protected environment conditions respectively. Flowers are highly perishable, unlike other horticultural or agricultural crops. Owing to poor keeping quality the post-harvest losses in floriculture are significantly higher than in any other sector. Although there has been a significant increase in the area, production, and productivity of flower crops in the last two decades, there is an urgent need to minimize the huge post-harvest losses in terms of the value of the products which are estimated to be 30-40 percent of farm value.
The post-harvest behaviour of flowers is an outcome of the physiological processes, occurring in leaves, stem, flower bud, leafless peduncle or scape connecting bud to the stem. Some of these processes may act independently to affect the senescence and vase life of cut flowers but most of them are inter-related. The nature and extent of postharvest damage are typical for each crop or cultivar. The post-harvest losses become important, especially when dealing with the export of fresh flowers to distant and foreign markets. Therefore, patient, soft and expert handling of flowers is of utmost importance after harvest.
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Kumar, P. & Raju, D & Saha, Nath & Gaikwad, Poornima & Mathew, Sithin. (2021). Post-Harvest Management in Commercial Flower Crops.