Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Say It With Flowers

Modern society is not content merely with 'Rose smells sweet - call it by any name!'. It wants roses and other flowers to have unique design, petal size, pleasing colours and longer shelf-life as well as nice fragrance. Yes, it is possible to achieve all this by influencing nature using genetics. Before raising your eyebrows in disbelief, please note that the famous rocket scientist turned President of India told this while inaugurating the second International Flora Expo-2006.He urged the research institutes to develop roses that are beautiful, fragrant and long lasting and also to develop indigenous variant of pesticides and fungicides either independently or in collaboration with foreign institutes/ industries. He further emphasized that the research community should bring out value-added products for the export market. Presently, the flower exports from India face competition from Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The agriculture minister observed that the agro-climatic diversity of India gives the capability to cultivate large number of flowers including temperate flowers that can be grown in the high altitude states of Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal.
The President's vision includes an export target of $1 billion by the year 2010 besides meeting the ever-increasing domestic demand. He is famous for his iron-will. He had once in his early career carried some rocket assembly on his bicycle for launch at Thumba Rocket Launching Centre when he found no other transport available.
When he has the will, surely there has got to be some way.

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