An attractive alternative

GOOD RETURNS: A farmer with an ornamental flower plant grown in a farm at Perambalur.  

M. Balaganessin

Perambalur farmers switch over to growing of ornamental flower

PERAMBALUR: Realising the assured returns from ornamental flowers, a number of groundnut growers in and around Alathur block in the district have switched over to raising ornamental flowers this season. The flower, by virtue of its purple red colour, is used in garlands, mainly at the joint of two arms. With Thanjavur providing an attractive and assured market, farmers have brought a good part of their agricultural land under the horticultural crop.

A farmer, P. Thangavel (47) of Karai village, points out that `kondraippu' flowers had several advantages over his conventional groundnut crop. The cultivation cost was far cheap, involving less labour. He had brought the seeds for the flowers from Dindigul. Periodical irrigation, preferably once in ten days and proper application of fertilisers ensure the growth of the plants up to a height of one metre, he says.

"Late December to April is the ideal season, as it does not withstand humidity during the onset of monsoon," he says.

Being his maiden venture, he had brought 40 cents of his land under the flowers on an experimental basis. He did not expect that the returns would be so attractive. He has been going to Thanjavur to sell the flowers at Rs.40 a kg.