Floriculture is a branch of agriculture which over the past few decades have gained an utmost importance when it comes to commercialization and profitability of the stakeholders. Located among the foothills of the Himalayas is the tiny Indian state of Sikkim. This tiny Himalayan kingdom of one time is also perhaps one of the most pristine in terms of its diverse array of flora and fauna. The state, located as it is, is also one of those which favours the cultivation and promotion of flora. It is no wonder then, that floriculture is slowly becoming one of the biggest industries of this state. Though still evolving, floriculture in Sikkim has the potential to expand to a great length.
With its beginnings in the times of the Chogyals, sometime in the 1920s, the state has sure come a long way. From the first nursery established in Rhenock in that period to the major nurseries of today, like Maenam and Hidden Forest, Sikkim sure has taken great strides in this path. And yet, there has been very little documentation of the history of this evolution.
In this paper, an attempt has been made to trace the evolution of floriculture in the state, from the 1920s. The paper will also look at the various challenges faced by the people in the industry, including in the commercialization and marketing. The paper will also look at the various initiatives and interventions that have been taken up by the Government of Sikkim through the Department of Floriculture, as well as the role of private enterprises in the promotion of floriculture in the national as well as international arena. Few basic demographic variables have also been studied to understand and assess the effect of their influence on the farmers/ florists who take up floriculture as a means of livelihood.
Keywords: Floriculture, Sikkim, Evolution, Demographic Variables