An app helps spread the fragrance of ‘Udupi Mallige’

Four local youths do their bit for jasmine growers

June 16, 2019 10:58 pm | Updated 10:58 pm IST - Udupi

An app named ‘Udupi Mallige’, launched a few months ago by a group of local youth, is now helping growers and sellers of this special variety of jasmine (also called Shankarpura Mallige), which enjoys a Geographical Indication tag.

Through the app, the price and availability of the flower, fixed daily by growers at Shankarpura village, is known by afternoon. Also, the app in its stories section gives details about the yield of the jasmine, how it should be planted, taken care of, controlling common diseases faced by these plants, and so on both in English and Kannada.

The android app was created by Punith Bandodekar, Rohith, Akshath, and Ajay, in the age group of 25-26, who did their MCA course at Manipal Institute of Technology and formed a group called Tackyant. The app has been downloaded by over 500 persons. “Since all of us are from Udupi, we wanted to do something for our jasmine growers. We will be updating the app with information on jasmine nurseries and related matters soon. We want it to benefit growers, sellers, purchasers, and people interested in the details of this jasmine,” said Mr. Bandodekar.

As many as 800 jasmine flowers go into the making of one ‘chendu’ (a set of flowers tied by a string), while four chendus make one ‘atti’. The Shankarpura jasmine is strung together, not by a thread, but by a string made of plantain stalk.

The price of Udupi Mallige is decided daily through auctioning by a collective of jasmine growers and collection agents known as ‘Katte’ at Shankarpura. The rates fluctuate based on demand and supply. The ‘attis’ are collected from growers by agents and sold to retailers in Udupi, Mangaluru, Kasaragod, and other places.

Ramakrishna Sharma, president of Udupi Mallige Belegarara Sangha, which has 3,000 growers as its members, said the app was helpful for growers not just for the rates but also other information on planting jasmine saplings and preventing diseases to these saplings. “When a large number of growers and sellers call the Katte and ask for the rates, it is difficult to attend to all calls. Hence, the app is beneficial,” he said.

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