Madurai

Flower prices plummet due to new restrictions

With the imposition of new COVID-19 restrictions, the price of jasmine has reduced drastically to around ₹100 a kg in Madurai Flower Market.   | Photo Credit: G. MOORTHY

Prices of flowers, including ‘Madurai Malli,’ have come down drastically in Madurai in the wake of imposition of new COVID-19 restrictions. The restrictions such as barring entry into temples and absence of grand weddings have also attributed to the price fall, resulting in severe loss for the farmers.

S. Ramachandran, president of a flowers vendors’ association at Mattuthavani Flower Market, said that on Thursday ‘Madurai Malli’ (jasmine) was sold at around ₹100 a kg while last week it was sold at ₹400. Similarly, prices of other flowers have also dropped - ‘sampangi’ was selling at ₹10 (₹20); ‘arali’ at ₹40; and ‘Madurai marikolunthu’ at ₹40.

Now the supply is more than the demand, said Mr. Ramachandran. “The ban on entry into temples is a major reason for the fall in demand for flowers. The restriction on limiting the number of participants in a wedding has also contributed to the fall in demand. Besides, the Mattuthavani flower market is allowed to function only till 12 noon,” he added.

Flower farmers have suffered huge losses due to the fall in prices, said Sasikumar, a jasmine farmer from Usilampatti. The labour charges for plucking flowers and transportation charges are higher than the price at which jasmine is sold in the market, resulting in a loss for the farmers.

Unviable

“In addition, many farmers from the Usilampatti region are buying water from tankers to cultivate jasmine. So it is financially not viable for us to sell the jasmine at low prices,” he said.

Last year too the farmers suffered a huge financial loss due to the imposition of COVID-19 lockdown, said S. Rajanarayanan, a ‘sampangi’ farmer from Sivaganga district who sells his flower at the market in Madurai. “Due to the financial crisis, many farmers have shifted from cultivating flowers this year. But none of us anticipated that the restrictions will be imposed this year too,” he said.

Mr. Rajanarayanan said that many disheartened farmers have stopped plucking flowers. Hence the flowers are left to wilt on the fields. “If the farmers stop plucking flowers, then it would destroy the whole crop,” he added.

Perfume factories also procure jasmine for a low price, said Mr. Sasikumar.

The farmers and flower vendors have petitioned the Collector to extend the functioning of the Mattuthavani flower market until 3 p.m.


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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 10:52:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/flower-prices-plummet-due-to-new-restrictions/article34500061.ece

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