SHILLONG: With several parts of the country reeling under a severe heat wave where temperatures have crossed 50 degrees centigrade, a large number of tourists from across the country are moving to various hill stations.
This being the time of school and college holidays, lakhs of tourists are visiting the northeastern States including Meghalaya to enjoy the beauty of this hill State and experience Sohra (Cherrapunji), known for being the place with the highest rainfall in the world.
Taking advantage of the huge tourist rush, the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD), an autonomous institute of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, has opened its state-of-the-art orchidarium to the public in its campus at the hills of Upper Shillong.
“The 6,000 square feet orchidarium is quite unique and only one of its kind in the country having climate controlled system and displaying several species of orchids,” said Prof Dinabandhu Sahoo, Director IBSD.
He said IBSD is promoting orchid-based bio-entrepreneurship to strengthen the bio-economy of the region. He informed that North-east India houses about 900 species of Orchids, while Meghalaya houses 439 species. Many species are little known and are facing various threats both natural and anthropogenic.
An unregulated wild collection of many species with ornamental values poses a big threat to their existence. Orchids will encourage students and citizens to develop love and care for nature at one site and generate employment opportunities for many farmers and unemployed youth in the region.
The estimated global trade of floriculture is USD 80 billion. India shares a very low pie of this stake and still holds a meagre 0.6 per cent of the total floriculture exports.
The Indian floriculture market was worth Rs 130 billion in 2017. The market is projected to reach Rs 394 billion by 2023, at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 20% during 2018-2023.
“In this orchidarium, tourists, scholars and flower lovers can view several orchid species in one place like in Thailand, Singapore, japan, England and many other countries,” said Sahoo.
Also read: Meghalaya news