P.S. Suresh Kumar

Steps will be taken to extend cultivation area, says Tourism Minister

Nagercoil: The Government has decided to set up a flower research centre at Thovalai in two months to encourage farmers who have been raising flower crops in and around Thovalai areas, according to the Tourism Minister, N. Suresh Rajan.

Speaking to The Hindu, he said that ‘Thovalai flower’ was very famous in Kerala. A good number of people from the neighboring Kerala were visiting Thovalai for purchasing flowers.

The flower crops were classified into two major divisions based on their mode of utilisation.

There were commercial flowers that included jasmine, tuberose, rose, chrysanthemum, marigold, kanagambaram etc.

The other variety included anthuriams, orchids gerbera, gladiola, etc.

The total area under flower cultivation was 201 hectares.

However, steps would be taken to extend the area in and around Thovalai.

Though the agro-climatic conditions prevailing in the hill range and plains of the district were suitable to cultivate cut flowers like anthuriamns, orchids etc., steps would be taken to ensure commercial cultivation of these crops, said the Minister.

These flowers were being exported from Thovalai to Mumbai and Gulf countries.

The Government would explore ways and means to extract aromatic oil from flowers so as to benefit farmers, said the Minister.