Mullaipoo commands the highest price of Rs. 600 a kg

The flower prices have soared up in the district in the wake of Navarathri festival. It has been a heyday for the flower vendors, who were complaining about poor prices till a fortnight ago.

The price per kg has almost doubled for a majority of flowers, while it is thrice the rate for flowers noted for fragrance. More than the rise in prices, scarcity to meet the demand has been reported in several parts of the district. According to a cross-section of flower traders in Srirangam, mullaipoo registered the highest price with Rs. 600 per kg against Rs. 240 last month.

Jasmine that was sold between Rs. 200 and Rs. 250 a kg has nearly doubled now. And today’s price stood at Rs. 500 a kg. Merchants were unable to cope with the demand for the festival season. They said people preferred flowers of cheap rate. The sambangi flower was sold for Rs. 300 a kg (Rs. 100 last fortnight), Kozhikondai Rs. 30 (Rs. 10), vadamalli Rs. 40 a kg (Rs. 20), and pachai Rs. 10 a bundle (Rs. 5). The prices fluctuate in accordance with the arrivals. The timely rainfall last week has resulted in reasonable increase in the yield of jasmine and other flowers in the district. The jasmine is largely grown in a cluster of villages in and around Kosampatti, Sirugambur, Ramagiripatti, Ettarai, and Koppu.

Karur Staff Reporter adds

Flowers and fruits, especially banana, became dearer here in Karur ahead of the Ayudha Puja-Vijayadasami festival time. Although arrivals at the market continued to be reasonably good, the price escalated following festival demand in the industrial town.

Ayudha Puja is celebrated on a grand scale in Karur which was home to several industries. The demand for puja items, flowers, and fruits go up on the occasion. This year, the prolonged drought-like conditions, made agriculture activities, in particular floriculture, betel vine cultivation, and banana cultivation troublesome.

While large tracts of farmlands on which banana was grown for years together were left fallow because of water scarcity and drought in Karur district, the tender betel vine cultivation never really took off in the past year with hot conditions, lack of adequate water for irrigation, and pest attacks leaving the growers in the lurch.

As for floriculture in the Kulithalai region bordering Tiruchi district, non-availability of water put paid to the hopes of a decent harvest but incidentally got farmers some money as the prices rose steadily over the year. All those factors continued to have a say in the run up to the puja festival in Karur as the price of flowers and fruits skyrocketed in the markets.

At the banana auction point near the Karur Junction, a bunch of poovan variety banana fetched up to Rs. 800 while a normal bunch of rasathali variety got the farmer Rs. 400. Even Karpooravalli variety went under the hammer for Rs. 200 a bunch.

Sources say it was only because of the increased demand for poovan variety during the festive season that pushed up the price. After a couple of days, the price of poovan would stabilise automatically, they said.

However, the sources pointed out that there was no dearth in arrivals at the shandies as banana bunches came in trucks from Krishnarayapuram and Kulithalai as also from nearby Tiruchi and Namakkal districts for sale.

Unlike banana where arrivals were good, the availability of flowers came down sharply in Karur markets forcing a rise in prices during this festival period.

Flowers come to the market from Karur, Tiruchi, Salem, Erode, and Krishnagiri districts. While jasmine fetched Rs. 700 a kg, mullai went for Rs. 600 a kg during the day’s trading. Arali cost Rs. 350 a kg while sampangi fetched Rs. 500.

Sources in the flower bazaar said the price line would hold over the next two days and the abnormal price increase was because of scarce availability of flowers following lack of rain in the past year. The market was getting hardly one-fifth of the regular arrivals for this part of the year, he said and added that festival time had only added to the demand.