Coimbatore

Flower farmers hit due to lockdown

Many have left flowers to wither away in the fields

The lockdown for COVID-19 has severely hit flower farmers here. Many farmers here have let flowers wither away in the fields as demand has dropped and labourers are not also available to pluck flowers.

The VOC flower market is the major market for flower trade here and it has been shutdown since the beginning of lockdown. Karnataka and Kerala are the major business areas for farmers here and with borders shut due to lockdown, many have left flowers wither away in the fields as farmers feel the cost of employing labourers isn’t profitable as well.

Nerium varieties and jasmine are the major flower varieties cultivated in the region.

According to officials from the Horticulture Department, flowers are cultivated for close to 3,000 hecatres here.

M. Murugan, a jasmine farmer near Tharamangalam said, “we have no other go but to give away profits this season. I haven’t even plucked the flowers as the cost of employing workers is also costly. I would have to pay between ₹80-90 for a labourer for one kg of flower plucked but even if flowers are given for perfume manufacturing, we get only up to ₹60 per kg. Also, labourers will not be able to reach the fields due to lockdown.” He added that since its a long-term crop, jasmine farmers here are looking for better trade post lockdown.

Officials from the horticulture department said that currently they have made arrangements to procure jasmine flowers for perfume manufacturing. Officials said that they are procuring between three to four tonnes of flowers for perfume production at ₹60-70 per kg.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 8:29:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/flower-farmers-hit-due-to-lockdown/article31359823.ece

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