It has become a profit-making agricultural venture in Kodaikanal
Cut flower cultivation has become a profit-making agricultural venture in the hill station, thanks to good yield and decent procurement price the farmers get.
Conducive climate, including right temperature of seven to 24 degree Celsius, relative humidity of 45 to 94 cent and average annual rainfall of 1,450 mm, have encouraged many farmers to take up floriculture.
Bird of Paradise
Besides cultivation of Carnation and Gerbera, farmers have started raising Bird of Paradise ( Strelitzia Reginae ), native to South Africa. Many farmers have been cultivating this flower in open fields and also under poly houses.
An attractive subsidy of Rs.35,000 per hectare offered under National Horticulture Mission has attracted many farmers to raise this flower. Many coffee growers have also shifted to floriculture, according to Deputy Director of Horticulture S. Raja Mohamed.
“I started getting revenue from my field from the 15th month of planting. Earlier I had cultivated coffee and mandarin orange in one hectare. Yield was good in the lower hills when compared to the upper hills. Total yield from my field was 25 per cent more than the yield taken from fields in the upper hills. My annual income from cut flowers is around Rs. 75,000 a year. Earlier, I had earned just Rs.25,000 from coffee and other crops. Procurement price for cut flowers is Rs.10 to Rs.15 a flower. Demand for cut flowers is very high in Bangalore,” said floriculturist R. Ravi who sold his entire produce to Bangalore only.
Deputy Director of Horticulture G. Kandasamy said that 24 hectares were under cut flower cultivation on the hills.
A total of 5,520 acres were under fruit cultivation, 5,290 hectares under vegetables and 753 hectares under spices and plantation crops.