Biotechnology application in Floriculture

Code No: TMS126 Price: Rs1550/- Category: Foods & Agriculture: Herbal & Natural Products and Floriculture


Summary  :  Scope and objectives of the study This study on the Techno-Market Survey of Biotechnology and its Application in Floriculture in India was undertaken for and behalf of the Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India M/s Omni Consultants. The study was mainly carried out with the following objectives and scope of work: • Relationship and the Importance of Biotechnology and its Application in Floriculture to Agriculture. • The current status of the technological developments pertaining to Biotechnology and its application in Floriculture in the world and in the country. Importance and its potential. • Assessment of the various technological options which can be adopted for Biotechnology and its Application in Floriculture and assessment of the requirement of the various resource parameters such as energy, raw material, infrastructure and manpower, etc. to arrive at preferred technology options available to the country. • Short term & long term economic aspects of preferred options along with their feasibilities. • Impact of the preferred option(s) by itself and its spin-offs. • Recommendations:  For implementation of preferred technology option(s) indicating critical inputs required for successful implementation of these technologies and assessment of the requirement of various raw material, capital goods and human resources their availability and investments required to commercialize, and benefits/returns expected. Maximum possible quantification is required.  For R&D/technology development indicating the requirement of inputs and expected benefits. • Action plan for implementation of recommendations along with identification of:  List of available technologies for minimizing Biotechnology and its Application in Floriculture and  The agencies/groups/ individuals for implementation. • Expected impact of recommendations, if implemented. The report consists of eight more chapters apart from this Executive Summary chapter. These chapters are discussed in brief in the succeeding paragraphs. Significance of Biotechnology and Its Application to Floriculture The total international trade in floriculture and live plants during the past decade was of the order of US $ 20,000 millions. The leading flower producing country in the world is a Netherlands and Germany is the biggest importer of flowers. Other leading floriculture countries are Japan, Italy, USA, Spain, Columbia and Israel. India had the largest area under floriculture amongsts all the countries, which was 55,000 ha (in 1992-93). Amongsts the states in India, Tamil Nadu has got the largest area under floriculture followed by Karnataka, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Delhi. India’s exports of floriculture products during 1991-92 was estimated at Rs. 14.80 lakhs, which works out to a mere 0.3 percent of the world market for floriculture products. Biotechnology has got a tremendous potential to contribution to sustainable agricultural and horticulture production. India with its large care under horticulture can be a major contributor in the global bio-technology scenario. The introduction of various in vitro techniques has revolutionized the horticulture sector in India in recent years. The greatest stimulus provided by the tissue culture technology lies in increased speed of clonal multiplication of shoot meristem culture of highly desired strains of plant material besides freeing the clonal material from pathogens. The three major areas of bio-technology, which can help us in crop improvement in general and floriculture in particular are micro propagation systems, including tissue culture, genetic engineering and new methods of in-vitro hybridization and recombinant DNA technique. The micro propagation industry in India has made rapid strides. From a mere 0.5 million plants in 1987, the production of plants through micro-propagation has gone upto 22.0 million in 1994. The foreign technology in floriculture generally revolves around the green house, where plants are grown under fully protected conditions. This is required in view of the externally cold climate in these regions. The condition in green house protect the flowers against precipitation, wind and too much radiation, besides creating a micro-climate around the flowers. The trend in floriculture production, on global basis, have been enormously dynamic during the past four decades. Netherlands increased the area by 70% which West Germany increased its consumption of floriculture products by 150%. Per capita consumption of floriculture products was the highest in Switzerland, followed by Holland, Germany, Belgium and Sweden. The demand for potted plants by 2000 AD in Europe is expected to rise by 57%, while the demand for fresh cut flowers in Europe, Japan and USA is expected to be about 38 billion US dollars in 2000AD. India has got the major advantage of producing a significant proportion of its floriculture produce during winter, when the demand for such is very high in Western Countries. With mild winters in most parts of India, it is possible to produce them at a comparatively lower cost. India has got a number of other advantages like favourable climatic conditions, varying agro-climatic zones, availability of cheap labour, sound research infrastructure, advanced tissue culture facilities, etc. Non-recombinant technology, which includes both the Conventional and Bio-technology based technologies, are comparatively well developed in India, while the recombinant DNA technology is still largely restricted to laboratory trails. After assessing the various factors and the effect of the conventional, non-conventional and recombinant technologies, which has been discussed in detail in this chapter, it is found that “Tissue-culture” is best suited for the development of floriculture in a big way. Green house technology could be used only in places of high altitude with frost and very cold climate or in case of special varieties commanding a good export market. Recombinant DNA technology, which is still in a nascent stage, could be adopted in the next decade. It can be seen in chapter six that an attempt has been made to assess the chosen technology from the point of view of financial viability. Data on various financial parameters are available from two sources, viz. Bio-tech Consortium India Ltd. (BCIL) and National Horticulture Board (NHB). The result of these two studies indicate that the adoption of tissue culture technology will be fully beneficial with BC Ratio varying from 1.36 to 1.75 in the case of BCIL and 1.21 to 1,49 in the case of NHB. Further the investment will yield a return of 566% over 12 years. The basic aim of adopting any new technology in any sector, not to talk of floriculture alone, is to improve the quality, increase the production and productivity, bring down the cost, increase the competitiveness of the product in the market both within and outside the country. The chapter aims to study the impact of the technology preferred for future development of floriculture. As mention in earlier Chapter, it has been found, after studying in detail, the various implications, advantages, disadvantages, etc. of various technologies that are available within India and outside, that “Tissue culture” is the mot suitable technology for floriculture. The recombinant DNA Technology, which is yet to be developed on a commercial scale can be kept as a goal to be achieved during the next decade. The foreign technology, which is mainly based on “Greenhouse” may not be useful in large parts of India where floriculture is practiced except where the climate is extreme with very hot and very high temperatures or where high quality flowers have to be grown exclusively for export which can \\not be done without the use of greenhouse technology. To make the suggestions regarding the preferred technological options more meaningful and pragmatic it has been presented on case to case basis for some important flowers such as Rose, Carnation, Anthurium , etc. Methodology As regards the methodology for the collection of relevant information and data a multipronged approach was adopted. This involved using different methods for the collection of the data. Firstly the three reports relevant to this topic which needed to be updated were closely examined and the extent of coverage of the various issues related to the Biotechnology and its Application in Floriculture was assessed. In all three reports have been made earlier on behalf of the TIFAC which have covered various issues related to the Floriculture to some extend and were examined by us. These are as follows: S. No. TIFAC Ref. No. Title of the Report 1 TMS 081 Techno Market Survey on Packaging of Horticultural & Agricultural Products for i) Export ii) Extending shelf life to avoid waste of products during peak of season. 2 TMS 030 Techno Market Survey Report on Genetically Engineered Plants 3 TMS 045 TMS in Biotechnology; Fermentation; Tissue Culture; Medicine, etc. The observations made after the close scrutiny of these reports is as discussed below report wise: In TMS 081 the following issues related to floriculture were covered:  Packaging of flowers - - - - - - - Pre Harvest Factors affecting the shelf life of flowers Post Harvest Factors affecting the shelf life Storage and packaging requirement of select type of flowers Aggregate figures of the Export of flowers from India Potential Production Centres in the country Weaknesses – Identified Constraints for gearing up of exports Opportunities for India for exports Threats to India from exports  All these issues have been discussed with focus on the packaging, shelf life/post-harvest life and expert potential of flowers. The Biotechnological application in floriculture has not been touched or discussed in this report. In TMS 030 the following related issues have been dealt with:  The basics and fundamentals of the Genetic Engineering including Biotechnology.  Application of Biotechnology to Agriculture and plant breeding in general.  Some passing reference has been made in Chapter V regarding some ornamental plants for which culture system and micropropogation exits. While discussing the Pot Culture there is some reference of on some of the potted crops grown in this form such as Chrysanthmum, Rose, Carnation, etc.  Other that that there is no specific discussion on role of biotechnology in floriculture and other related issues. In TMS 045 the following issues related to floriculture were covered:  Scenario of Flower Production in India and Abroad in very brief.  Problems and Prospects of the production of Rose, Chrysanthemum, orchids, Gladiolus and Carnation in very brief under the ornamentals head.  Then the techniques of biotechnology such as Tissue Culture, Plant Cell Culture, Recombinant DNA, Protoplast Fusion, RFLP analysis has been discussed in very brief in general but not specifically for floriculture.  Some ongoing research projects on Floriculture have been listed.  Commercial viability on tissue culture had been discussed in general but not specifically for floriculture.  Some reference has been made that floriculture should play a important role in the context of exports has also been made in chapter on ‘Policy on Tissue Culture’.  Hence in this report the focus has been more on the Biotechnology and Floriculture as been touched very briefly at some places. Since it was found that mot of the major issues related to the Application of Biotechnology to Floriculture were not covered hence it was decided to convert the same extensively ash per the scope of work \\of this study. Thereafter major data was collected through desk research of selected journals, periodicals, and publications. Proceedings of some the seminars and meetings held in the pas related to this topic were also referred. Some the experts with whom efforts were made to establish contacts are as listed in Appendix-I of this report. Some of the Periodicals/ Publications, etc. which were referred or form which effort was made to collect relevant information are as listed in the Appendix-II. Some of the agencies / companies which are connected to work on the subject of the Biotechnology and its application in Floriculture with whom effort was made to contact and elicit response are listed in Appendix-III. Major observations / findings The following are some of the major observations and findings of this study: 1. Floriculture today is considered to be more lucrative with substantial financial returns to its growers than many other horticultural crops. 2. The total international trade in floriculture and live plants was estimated at US$ 20,000 million during the past decade. Flowers are fast emerging as potential money spinners for a member of third world countries. 3. The leading floriculture countries in the world are Netherlands, Japan, Italy, USA, Spain, Columbia, Israel. 4. The areas under floriculture in India is about 55,000 ha (1992-93). Among the states Tamil Nadu has got the largest area under floriculture, followed by Karnataka, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Delhi. 5. India’s export of floriculture products during 1991-92 was estimated at Rs. 1480 lakhs, which works out to a more 0.3 percent of the world total. 6. It was in mid 70’s that the terms ‘Bio-Technology’ was brought into popular usage in view of the increased potential for the application of the techniques of molecular biology, which is the hardcare of bio-technology. 7. In developing countries like India, bio-technology has the potential to contribute in particular to sustainable agriculture and horticultural production, health care and environmental protection. 8. The emergence of bio-technology as a powerful manipulation tools in recent times has bestowed man with power to tinker with life forms on a scale unimagined before. In the next 40 years, farmers arounds the world will have to produce more food than they have done from the beginning of agriculture till now. 9. A full fledged Department of Bio-technology (DBT) was set up by Govt. of India in 1986 to co-ordinate and oversee priority area. The financial outlay for Horticulture sector during the plan is of the order of Rs. 1000 crores, a quantum jump from Rs. 24 crores during the 7th Plan. 10. The research on bio-technology was done in three phases. The first phase, from 1900-1960, dealt with the establishment of basic tissue culture technique, while the second dealt with the development of another culture technique and photplast fusion. The third phase was on fusion of molecular biology and tissue culture techniques and the advancement of genetic engineering. 11. The greatest stimulus provided by the tissue culture technology lies in increased speed of colonal multiplication of shoot and meristem culture of highly desired strains of plant material besides freeing the colonal material so multiplied from pathogens. 12. The native flora is so rich and divergent that several new foliage and ornamental plants can be developed and propagated with least competition from outside world. 13. Government organizations have a major role to play, mainly in coordinating the functioning of horticulture, tissue culture labs, farmers and marketing organizations so that all aspects of commercialization develop equally and simultaneously to derive maximum benefits. 14. The three major areas of bio-technology, which can help in crop improvement in general and floriculture in particular are micro-propagation systems, including tissue culture, genetic engineering and new methods of in-vitro hybridization and re-combinant DNA technique. 15. It has now been well established that potentially useful variations are desired from somaclonal variations and they can be used as breeding tool for the genetic improvement of floricultural crops. 16. The availability of gene isolation, gene manipulation and transfer technologies has enabled researchers to unravel the molecular basis of flower development, including flower shaping, coloration, senescene and gametogenesis. 17. There has been a phenomenal growth of micro-propagation industry globally, by as much as 500% in less than a decade. 18. The micro-propagation industry in India has made rapid strides. From a mere 0.5 million plants in 1987, the production of plants through micro-propagation had gone upto 22.0 million in 1994. 19. In foreign countries, roses are grown in green houses, which protect te flowers against precipitation, wind and too much radiation, besides creating a micro-climate around the flowers. 20. Successful rose exports require an unbroken chain of cold storages right from grading to retail sales level, with cold storages at the production site, refrigerated transport and cold storage at the airport. 21. Carnations are grown mostly in glass houses in temperate zones, in plastic and glass houses as well as in open air in sub-tropic areas and more or less under shaded conditions in tropical areas. 22. The success of a flower cultivation project depends mainly upon 3 factors, viz. technical means to grow flowers optimally, availability of good planting material and good management. 23. According to the budget allocations for research on ICAR programmes (excluding research by other institutions /SAU’s) on different types of horticultural crops during 7tn and 8th Plans, investment in floriculture and medicinal plants together had only a share of 3.8 to 5.8 percent of the total research budget for all horticulture crops. 24. Out of the total of 4675 research personnel working in horticulture crops, only 173 persons (less than 4 percent) are engaged in floriculture and medicinal plants, of which only 88 are scientists. 25. The first systematic research on floriculture was initiated in early 60’s, which was further strengthened with the launching of the All India Co-ordinated Floriculture Improvement Project (AICFIP) in 1972. this project, which originally covered 27ornamental crops, was subsequently raised to cover on an intensive basis, only 5 crops, identified as having export potential. The crops are: Rose, Gladiolus, Carnation, Chrysanthemum and Orchids. 26. Besides, ICAR has been funding some ad-hoc projects, other organizations funding research projects on floriculture are, Department of Bio-technology, Department of Horticulture, Government of India, NABARD, and National Horticulture Board. 27. The trends in floriculture crop production, on a global basis, have been enormously dynamic during the past four decades. 28. Per capita consumption of floriculture products is the highest in Switzerland (64 US$) followed by Holland (60), Germany(55), Belgium (45) and Sweden (40). 29. World trade in floriculture has been estimated to be in excess of 6 billion US Dollars. The demand for potted plants in Europe is expected to increase by 57% by 2000 A.D. The demand for fresh cut flowers in Europe, Japan and USA is also expected to of the order of 38 billion US Dollars by 2000 A.D. 30. The main advantage for India is that the peak demand season in European countries, being winter is the peak production season in India. Besides, the cost of production is much cheaper in India due to the milder wither, as compared to extreme cold and frost conditions prevailing in Europe, thus saving a lot of investment in climate control. 31. In terms of heating energy to raise the temperature in the greenhouse, Europe invests the equivalent of 50 tonnes of diesel, Israel 20 tonnes, while for India, it is almost nil. 32. The labour cost in India in floriculture is only 1/14th of the corresponding cost in Holland, which skilled manpower costs are one tenth and managerial costs one-seventh in India, as compared to Holland. 33. The non-recombinant bio-technology, which includes both conventional and bio-technology based technologies, are comparatively well developed in India and commercialized. The DNA recombinant technology is still largely restricted to laboratory trails, even in advanced countries. 34. Adoption of the Tissue-Culture technology is the only way in which India can play its due role in the world trade in floriculture, consistent with its capacity. 35. The adoption of tissue culture and its various related technologies is bound to increase the rate of multiplication manifold besides improving the quality of planting materials. 36. The yields are likely to go up considerably with the use of new technologies like tissue culture and non-recombinant DNA technology. 37. According to the study on cost of production with tissue culture technology conducted by BCIL, the BC ration varied from 1.36 to 1.75, while the study of NHB indicated BC ratios ranging from 1.21 to 1.49. further, the investment on floriculture with tissue culture technology, will yield a return of 566% over 12 years, according to BCIL Study. Recommendations Based on the findings during the course of this study the following recommendations are made: 1. As the finished product can fetch more attractive dividends, export of grown plants and flowers has to be developed through long term planning. Government organizations have a major role to play in coordinating the activities of horticulture and tissue culture laboratories, farmers and marketing institutions so that all aspects of commercialization develop equally and simultaneously to get maximum benefits. 2. Government has to co-ordinate the work of several tissue culture laboratories all over the country to work our protocols for different floriculture plant species. 3. Patenting of products and new varieties may accelerate the transfer of technology and improvement of techniques faster than any other incentive to scientists/research organizations. 4. All small micropropagation laboratories should be encouraged to have very efficient pathogen indexing, testing and eliminating. 5. In order to conserve energy used by the tissue culture laboratories, it is necessary to have efficient management, quality control and plant health, which are critical to successful micro propagation technology. 6. Since most of the floriculture crops are seasonal in most parts of the country, it is advisable to use a mixture of plant species at different times in order to use the facilities upto their full potential. 7. There is an urgent need to take up research on another culture technique for floriculture plants, as has been done in the case of certain agriculture crops. 8. The embryo culture technology needs to be further studied for use in floriculture crops. 9. Production of somatic hybrid in an orchid is a challenging task and the American Orchid Society has instituted a prize of US $ 10,000 for any person who produces a somatic hybrid and takes upto the flowering stage. 10. Research efforts may be encouraged to produce exotic colours of roses and other floriculture species. 11. Tissue culture technology is the most suitable in the present circumstances for development of floriculture sector. 12. The greenhouse technology ,may be adopted in places having extreme climatic conditions or where very superior quality of floriculture products are required to be grown exclusively for exports. 13. Non-recombinant DNA technology may be taken up sometime in the nest decade after commercial production starts. Action Plan The Action Plan suggested in this Report is by way of illustration based on the findings of this Study. It is in two parts, one for the government and research organizations and the other for entrepreneurs. Central and State Governments have to evolve a detailed action plan based on an in-depth study of all the various relevant factors. Implementing Agencies In order to utilize the research efforts undertaken in floriculture both in Indian and abroad to the fullest extent, the agencies selected for this purpose should have the capacity to undertake such tasks and should be well equipped with adequate human and material resources. Hence agricultural universities, research organizations, private organizations engaged in floriculture research and relevant government departments can be the ideal agencies for this purpose. Plan A tentative Action Plan of Government, and Research Organization is given below in Exhibit No. 1.1. An Action Plan for entrepreneurs whishing to take up floriculture is as shown in Exhibit No. 1.2. Impact of application of Biotechnology in Floriculture The adoption of tissue culture and its various related technologies is bound to result in increased production of planting material by increasing the rate of multiplication, besides additional like preciosity of flowering, etc. the availability of planting material will be even more by the adoption of recombinant DNA technology. Such abundant availability of planting material will have major impact on the quality and quantum of floriculture products. Consequently, yields will also increase substantially. In case of conventional technologies, the crops are highly susceptible to natural factors such as flood drought, climate, frost etc. but there will be very little effect due to such natural factors it the tissue culture or recombinant technology is adopted. The seasonal nature of production of many flowers can also be overcome and such production can be carried on regardless of the season, if the improved technologies are adopted. The land requirement will also be less as it will be possible to increase the yields substantially. There will be not harmful effect on environment. EXHIBIT NO. 1.1 ACTION PLAN FOR GOVERNMENT AND RESEARCH ORGANIZATIONS S. No. Proposed Measures / Activities Implementing Agency Coordinating Agency Remarks 1 Project identification An expert committee comprising experts from universities, research institutes, Government department private sector, foreign consultants wherever required. DBT/Central and State Governments Project may be identified by this body for all round development of individual species of floriculture plants 2 Allocation of Research Projects and Grants DBT Inter-ministerial grou from Science and Technology & Agriculture Based on the R&D set up of a university/research institute/industry, research projects should be allocated in accordance with regional location, soil & environment conditions, grant allocation to be done depending on the project, with periodical review of grants used and progress achieved in the project. 3 Implementation of research projects This should be headed by an experienced team leader and should include experts from plant breeding, genetics, bio-chemistry, tissue culture etc. DBT/Central and State Governments Stage to avoid time and cost overrun 4 Basic research work like gene identification, gene mapping, strains development establishing gene libraries, etc. Research organizations, both or Government and non-Government level ICAR Most of the basic work can also be carried out as a part of academic syllabus at past graduation and doctorate levels 5 Applied research work like gene cloning, gene transfer, gene replication in transformed species, regeneration of plant species, etc. Research organsations, both at Govt. and non-Government level DBT 6 Joint collaborative research work wherever necessary Universities, research organizations and private industry Ministry of Science and Technology and DBT Research work may be either fully carried out in collaboration or partly in India and partly abroad 7 Setting up germ plasm banks Research organization both at Government and non-Government level ICAR EXHIBIT NO. 1.2 ACTION PLAN FOR ENTREPRENEURS 1. Identification of the activity. 2. Full background of the existing status in respect of the following factors: i) Demand and supply ii) Position of the competitors. iii) Various technologies available iv) Financial health of the existing unit. v) Projects, vi) Products life cycle stage. vii) Complete information about the collosorator. 3. Synopsis of the Project. (This may include project size, site suitability and availability, investment profile, short listing of technology and suppliers). 4. Detailed project report and collaboration (technology, supply of inputs, marketing finance lie with exporters etc.) 5. Final site selection involving promoters, collaborators, and financial institutions. 6. Source of finance, equipment an skilled and unskilled manpower (Sources of finance - ICICI, NABARD, NHB, IDBI,IFCI, RCTFC, BCIL, APEDA & NCDC) 7. Project implementation. 8. (Erection, trial run, quality testing and test marketing.) 9. Commercial launching of the project.


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