'Dry Flower' New Subject Introduced By NAU
SURAT: A new subject of dry flower preparation and its commercial use in its postgraduate curriculum introduced by Navsari Agriculture University (NAU).
This is the experiment to explore the export potential of dry flowers. Natural flowers are used as room fresheners and display articles. India's annual export market of dry flower at present is about Rs 300 crore.
"In PG courses, we have a full component of dry flowers and the objective is to provide students with knowledge by which they can add value to their commercial venture," said Alka Singh, associate professor and head of department of floriculture and landscape architecture, ASPEE College of horticulture at NAU.
Singh said, "Till now, only Tamil Nadu has all the exporters of this product. So, we want our students of horticulture to develop the skill and grab a major share of India's developing market."
She added that, now a days in India, dry flower market is growing at the rate of 8-10% per annum and if some more states start developing this business which could easily double.
Dry flowers being bio-degradable and environment friendly, everlasting arrangements could be prepared using them where some species of these flowers are not available. These flower arrangement also last longer and one can enjoy the smell of seasonal flowers throughout the year.
Pine cones and dried fruit of gourd is used as a base for dry flower arrangement. Flowers like dahlias, marigold, jute flowers, wood roses, wild lilies, helichrysum, lotus pods, pods and fruits of many shrubs and trees are exploited for drying and beautiful arrangements are made for decoration.
Singh also said that, currently, research on dry flowers is minimum in the country. However, research on standardization on dry flower technology is conducted at NBRI Lucknow; NAU; IARI, New Delhi; TNAU, Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, and Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture in Solan, Himachal Pradesh.
Significant part of dry flower exports in India comprised by Potpourri fragrance. It is made with dry flower and added fragrance and served as an active and attractive room freshener.
For making this fragrant potpourri, dried plant parts, flower petals, leaves, stems, seeds, root are used.