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Orchid farming ideal for Kerala: expert

Special Correspondent

Thiruvananthapuram: India has to produce its own hybrid varieties of orchid if it is to make a mark in the international market for ornamental flowers, according to Martin Motes, noted orchid breeder, grower and author.

Addressing orchid farmers in the district at a function here on Tuesday, Dr. Motes said they stood to gain little by growing a few varieties from Thailand and Singapore. “If the world is to come to India for quality plants, farmers here should exhibit a scientific temper in breeding and hybrid production.”

He delivered a lecture on breeding in orchids for flower improvement. He said orchid cultivation and cut flower trade were ideal for Kerala.

Dr. Motes and wife, Mary, visited the Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI). He interacted with the scientists on the ongoing breeding works done at the institute utilising native Indian orchids.

Dr. Motes has over 50 years of experience in growing orchids and is based at Miami, Florida, USA, where he runs his company, Motes Orchids, which houses the largest collection of Vanda orchids in the world.

He is known in the floriculture trade for producing some of the finest Vanda hybrids popular among the growers for their sturdy nature, amazing combinations of colours and fragrance. He has authored two books on orchids.

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