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New Delhi, Sept. 8

The President, Mr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, called for fixation of an annual target of $1 billion of floriculture exports to be accomplished by the country by 2010, while inaugurating the Second International Flora Expo in the Capital on Friday.

"Floriculture indeed needs a national vision promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, so that we can attain a target of $1 billion floriculture export by 2010. One day, I would like to see India becoming a major market for flower auction," he said.

For the realisation of the target, the President suggested floriculture to be encouraged in various States and farmers could be encouraged to establish special floriculture zones with incentives and technology support.For achieving the export targets, he also suggested bringing the whole floriculture business under insurance cover from production to reaching the market. Also the Government may consider provision of subsidy for insurance, he said. Later in a press conference, the APEDA Chairman, Mr K.S. Money, said a stiff challenge of export target set by the President by 2010 was achievable if the steps planned for the sector are implemented. He said the Government has taken several measures, including enhancement of transport assistance for flower exporters. He added that the APEDA would set up cold storage facilities at all the airports in the North-East.Speaking on the occasion, the Commerce Secretary, Mr S.N. Menon, said the foreign investment was being encouraged for setting up cold chains and other basic infrastructure.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 9, 2006)
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