Flower growers feel the heat of Covid-19 lockdown

May 12, 2021 06:16 pm | Updated 06:16 pm IST

A flower seller dries roses on road to sell to scent factories in Dindigul on Wednesday.

A flower seller dries roses on road to sell to scent factories in Dindigul on Wednesday.

DINDIGUL

Farmers growing flowers, including jasmine, sampangi and paneer rose, were seen abandoning the produce in dumper bins here at the wholesale flower market as they neither had buyers nor could preserve the flowers.

With the fortnight-long lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic coming into force since 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 time for opening up 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 procuring flowers like jasmine, rose and sampangi in the market, said Marimuthu, a flower grower from Nilakottai.

Even if the temples were open, the devotees would buy garlands. With the shrines closed, there was not any scope for selling the flowers, he rued.

He claimed that many flower growers in and around the district had decided not to harvest or pluck as they have to shell out wages for the labourers.

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

There are at least 2000 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 not much scope to transport the flowers to other districts or States due to restrictions, the farmers had very limited scope to preserve them. Hence, they had left them in trash, while some others had chosen not to pluck them from the fields, the merchant said.

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