Study provides suggestions for development of jasmine growers

A strategic plan is ready to spread the fragrance of ‘Maduai Malli' in global flower markets based on a comprehensive study which has come out with key suggestions for jasmine growers' development.

The exclusive field study which was done jointly by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) and the Hyderabad-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has made a set of recommendations for promoting ‘Madurai Malli' in a big way in both domestic and international markets.

A meeting of Madurai jasmine promotion stakeholders was organised here on Saturday at the Agricultural College and Research Institute with growers, traders, horticulture department officials and senior representatives from banks, including the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development.

After watching a detailed presentation made at the meeting, the Collector, U. Sagayam, and the TNAU Vice-Chancellor, P. Murugesa Boopathy, assured that ‘Madurai Malli' would be promoted as a global brand.

The strategic plan had studied the issues confronted by jasmine growers in Madurai and Dindigul districts so as to come out with solutions. It was pointed out that Madurai Malli had a huge market potential because of its superior fragrance, extra thickness of petals and more shelf life.

The process of acquiring patent for Madurai jasmine variety is going on right now.

S. M. Karuppan Chetty, Chief Operating Officer of Agri-Business Incubation Programme, ICRISAT, made an exhaustive presentation on his team's survey findings.

“We have to exploit the commercial advantage by sorting out the production and commercial constraints. Area under jasmine production in Madurai district is 1,220 hectares while the district produces nearly 10,000 tonnes per year. If Madurai Malli has to catch up in the global market in a big way, the skills of garland makers have to be enhanced,” he observed.

The study has analysed all aspects pertaining to jasmine growers and identified the opportunities available in the export market arena. It took first hand accounts of farmers, growers, commission agents, flower exporters, consumers and extraction industry.

According to Mr. Karuppan Chetty, a wide gap persists between demand and supply of fresh flowers. Jasmine growers are getting discouraged due to a very huge price volatility and lack of adequate cold storage facilities.

He appealed to the Collector to form ‘Madurai Malli Development Cell' to spearhead promotion activity. Several jasmine growers who attended the meeting called for setting up perfume factories in this region, export guidance from experts and easy export licenses for jasmine business.

“Our university will help jasmine growers and entrepreneurs in a big way through the agri-business department. All hurdles in the supply-chain management will be looked into and we will take steps to increase jasmine cultivation in Madurai district in association with State Government officials,” the TNAU Vice-Chancellor said.

K. Vairavan, Dean, Agricultural College and Research Institute, P. Banumathi, Dean, Home Science College and Research Institute, and A. R. Mohamed Haroon, Head, Department of Soil and Environment, participated in the meeting.