Feature by Khagendramani Pradhan:For the Kanchanjunga Floritech Society, Daramdin, winning the State level entry in the first International Florishow organized by Government of Sikkim from 14-16 March 2008 at Saramsa came as a huge surprise for the rose flower growers. Having brought over ten thousand cut flowers of more than 19 varieties from Daramdin, the initiative by the Department of Agriculture and Horticulture, Government of Sikkim of turning this typical village of scenic terrain and terraces into a Rose Village proved well beyond the expectations of people.
Daramdin in West Sikkim had been identified for cultivation of Rose flowers of export quality under the Technology Mission support from the Government of India. The flat land which till recent years had been a traditional hub of rice cultivation took a U-turn in the month of April 2007, when it was decided that there is an urgent need to give value addition of their available land. On 14th April 2007 the Chief Minister of Sikkim officially inaugurated the “Rose Village” and those interested were provided with all the necessary inputs for growing Roses of over twenty varieties.
The Department of Horticulture and Cash Crop Development since then has been putting in untiring efforts to ensure that this Centrally Aided Technology Mission for growing Rose cut flower does not meet with any kind of failure. The Department along with essential training to the identified 43 beneficiaries has also provided them with the required Green House shed which cost around Rs 6 to 7 lakh.
As of date area spanning over 2.1 hectares has been brought under the cultivation of roses with the Green House sizing from 273 to 1192 square metres. The government has invested over Rupees 25 million in this project. Further, depending upon the success rate and the interest generated among others, the Department has plans to expand this project to more than ten hectares of land.
The beneficiaries have been provided with all kinds of support almost free of cost from green house to planting materials as well as motorized drip irrigation including misters and dehumidifiers.
On an average, it is estimated that 250 cut flower per green house of minimum size would be produced per day. Officers in the department said that this would make an earning of nearly Rs 1,20,000 annually. The net profit of Rs 1 lakh per annum as labour and miscellaneous expenditure incurred annually would not surpass Rs. 20,000.
Further, to provide the marketing access and facilities, the Department will be providing pre-cooling instruments, refrigeration facilities for storage and transport of harvest in refrigerated van, besides training education and exposure tours.