Flower prices double, Tiruchi merchants reap puja benefits

Special Correspondent
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Mullaipoo commands the highest price of Rs. 600 a kg

Jasmine ready for sale at Srirangam flower market in Tiruchi.- Photo: R. M. Rajarathinam
Jasmine ready for sale at Srirangam flower market in Tiruchi.- Photo: R. M. Rajarathinam

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. 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.

The price line would hold over the next two days and the exorbitant price increase was because of scarce availability of flowers. The market was getting hardly one-fifth of the regular arrivals for this year and added that festival time had only added to the demand.

  • Poovan variety of banana fetched up to Rs. 800 per bunch

  • Price rise comes after a lean agricultural season in the region




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