Coronavirus | Flower growers in Dindigul hit by restrictions

A vendor drying roses on the road in order to be able to sell it later to perfume makers   | Photo Credit: Karthikeyan G

Farmers growing flowers including jasmine, sampangi and paneer roses were seen abandoning their produce in dumpster bins at the wholesale flower market in Dindigul, as neither did they have buyers, nor could they preserve the flowers.

With the fortnight-long lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic coming into force on Monday, the farmers have been trying to prevent their losses. In a bid to ensure that their livelihood was not affected, the government had given them time top open their shops till noon. After 12 p.m., the curfew comes into force till May 20. Under such circumstances, there were takers for vegetables, milk and meat but not many buyers for flowers like jasmine, rose and sampangi in the market, said Marimuthu, a flower grower from Nilakottai.

If the temples were open, the devotees would buy garlands. With the shrines closed, there was no scope for selling the produce, he rued. He claimed that many flower growers in and around the district had decided not to harvest or pluck the flowers as they have to shell out wages for labourers.

A wholesale merchant, however, said that he would dry the roses and sell it at a later date to people, who could use it in the manufacturing of perfumes.

There are at least 2,000 flower growers in and around the district, who brought in at least 10 tonnes of flowers daily to the market. On an average, jasmine, which was selling at ₹1,000 per kg this season, was available for ₹100. Similarly, sampangi arali and paneer rose varieties, which were quoted at ₹60 per kg in the wholesale market, were selling at ₹15.

With few means to transport the flowers to other districts or States due to restrictions, the farmers had very limited scope to preserve the produce. Hence, they left them in the trash, while some others had chosen not to pluck them from the fields, the merchant said.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 2:53:02 AM |

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