The northeastern state of Meghalaya is blessed with favorable climatic conditions and rich fertile soil, that’s why its home to some of the most exotic species of flora.
“To plant orchids in Delhi, Gurgaon or any other North Indian places, air-conditioned room is required and the cost is very high. But here, the weather is like a natural refrigerator. So you see, we can save a lot of electricity. The second most important thing is that the soil is very fertile. You travel in the northeast and you will find a large number of orchids are growing naturally on tree trunks. But what the people are doing is that they are uprooting the orchids and selling it in the market at a very cheap price,” said, Dinabandhu Sahoo, Director Institute of Bio-Resources and Sustainable Development.
The orchidarium which was constructed within a span of three months has over 20 varieties of orchids which are found in Meghalaya and its neighboring states. There are also a variety of species of orchids which are found in full abundance in the state. Of 17,000 species of orchids in the world, about 1,250 occur in India, of which nearly 300 are found in Meghalaya.
A special natural orchid habitat has been set up in the orchidarium where large varieties of orchids are displayed to attract more visitors.
The opening of the orchidarium saw a large number of visitors from every nook and corner of the region and the country as a whole, which is expected to generate employment and boost the income of the small-scale flower farmers.
A tourist who visited the orchidarium expressed her delight over having a new tourist spot in the state. “This orchidarium is very interesting as it has also become one of the tourist spots. As Meghalaya is one of the major tourist hubs in the country, now people will get a chance to visit the orchidarium and know more about varieties of orchids. Because of climate change, orchids are reducing and having this kind of germplasm can help us protect the orchids, said a visitor, Jenny.
The orchidarium unique and will also lead to the production of orchids in large quantities, with a proper supply chain which will, in turn, open path for business avenues.
The establishment will go a long way in educating people about citizen science and help preserve the fragile eco-system of the state and the country as a whole.