Sabuja Sanatanpali Farmer Producer Company Limited (SSFPCL), Odisha’s first floriculture-based farmer producer organisation (FPO), has signed an MoU with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) - National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow, to promote research in floriculture.

Facilitated by consulting firm Palladium, the collaboration will focus on enhancing crop diversity, understanding plant-environment interactions, and applying biotechnological approaches for plant improvement to promote economic viability.

The FPO is among the first in Odisha to incorporate institutional applied research in its operational model to adapt to climate change, and boost flower production and marketing efforts.

Odisha, with 6,500 hectares dedicated to floriculture, produces approximately 24,800 tonnes of loose flowers and about 5,500 lakh cut flowers annually. However, this output meets only 10 per cent of the state’s demand, and it sources the rest from major centres like Kolkata, Bengaluru, Delhi, and Hyderabad. This shortfall presents a lucrative opportunity for local entrepreneurs to venture into floriculture, a sector poised for growth.

Established in 2021 by Palladium as a technical support unit and supported under the ‘Formation and promotion of 10,000 FPOs under CSS scheme’ by NABARD, SSFPCL is located in the Jujumura forest area of Sambalpur district.

The organisation boasts over 1,200 small and marginal farmer members, with women comprising nearly 50 per cent, and overall benefits about 3,500 farmers. Besides floriculture, SSFPCL sells a range of agricultural products, including mangoes and vegetables such as cabbage, chilli, cauliflower, and okra, produced by small-holder farmers.

Chandra Sekhar Mohanty, Senior Principal Scientist at CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute, said, “Technical and scientific support will be provided to the farmer producer company. This includes quality planting materials, introduction of new plant varieties, performance evaluation in the local environment, training in agri-horticultural practices, and production of value-added products. These efforts will promote crop diversity and support the sustainable economic growth of the FPO.”

Biswajit Behera, Associate Director, Palladium India, said, “Accelerating inclusive business growth for the FPOs through promotion of climate-smart agriculture models has been the key approach of Palladium. When we supported the SSFPCL in 2021, we had set a clear vision — to promote it as one of the model FPOs demonstrating women’s economic empowerment through farmer collectives. It’s heartening to see emerging FPOs like Sabuja Sanatanpali integrating applied and scientific research through partnership with Council for Scientific and Industry Research - NBIR Govt of India in their production processes to enhance quality of production, respond to lower productivity due to climate change, and aiming for higher export markets. We aim to take it forward, keeping market systems aligned.”