SHILLONG, June 3 - Visitors to the Meghalaya Capital here would have another attraction with the opening today of a climate-controlled Orchidarium at Upper Shillong enroute to Cherrapunjee.
The Orchidarium has been established at the premise of the Institute of Bio-resources and Sustainable Development (IBSD), an autonomous institute of Department of Biotechnology.
The state of the art Orchidarium covers nearly 6,000 square feet and would display several species of orchids from the State and the Northeastern region.
The North East has about 900 species of Orchids while Meghalaya alone has 439 species. Many species are little known and are facing various threats, both natural and due to human activities. Moreover, unregulated collection of many species with ornamental values poses a big threat for several species of Orchid.
“Throughout the year the maximum temperature would hover between 15-20 degrees Centigrade to mimic the natural surroundings of these orchids,” an official said.
He said one of the objectives of the Orchidarium is to encourage students to develop love and care for nature and would also generate employment opportunities for many farmers and unemployed youth in the region.
“IBSD is promoting orchid based bio-entrepreneurship to strengthen the bio-economy of the region as a major flagship programme,” said Prof Dinabandhu Sahoo, Director IBSD.
He further informed that the estimated global trade of floriculture is 80 Billion USD. However, India’s share in the global market is only 0.6 per cent of the total floriculture exports.
The Indian floriculture market was worth Rs 130 billion in 2017. The market is further projected to reach Rs 394 billion by 2023, at a compound annual growth rate of 20 per cent during 2018-2023.
Moreover, it’s expected that with temperature soaring across the country and people rushing to the hills the Orchidarium would be a major attraction among the tourists. It would therefore help in generating revenue for the State.