Udayavni Special

Jasmine growers wilt under Covid-19 lockdown


Team Udayavani, May 29, 2020, 5:04 PM IST

Amid Covid-19, there has been a massive impact on flower growers after the lockdown. The new season for flower cultivation is about to begin but many growers are finding it difficult to come to terms with the losses.

The flower growers had sold more than 40 per cent of their crop before the lockdown. The remaining crops dried up during the lockdown as they did not harvest those. Flower crops are cultivated twice a year and the growers used to earn attractive profit in the first season that is from February to May.

Especially jasmine growers are most affected in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi. Jasmine is one of the major commercial flower crops of south India. In Karnataka, jasmine has been cultivated in all most all districts.

The majority of the jasmine growers belong to small farmers category. They were already facing many problems not only in cultivation but also in marketing their produce. The jasmine flower crops require lots of manpower for picking flowers and performing other operations.

The flowers bloom only in particular season, because it is a seasonal crop. The production of jasmine is based on the area of land. The training given to the jasmine growers helps them to improve the production and marketing of jasmine innovatively and profitably.

The marketing of jasmine flower has the special type and is highly perishable in nature, needs quick marketing. Price fluctuation was reported to be the main marketing constraint by all categories of farmers.

Now due to the lockdown, jasmine growers are in more trouble as there is no income and they are forced to pluck the flowers and throw them away.

Shankarpura jasmine are well known for their fragrance. It is said that cultivators would earn Rs 800 to Rs 1,000 per atte (local measurement) on a daily basis. In December last year, the price of jasmine sky rocketed, due to low turnout . But, now are dumping the flowers as there are no takers and growers are forced to pluck the flowers because if they are left on the plants, growth is affected

Ramesh Kumar, a jasmine grower, said, “ My flowers are rotting and we are throwing them away. We are suffering due to the lockdown as there are no buyers. There is high demand for jasmine during weddings season but as weddings have been cancelled, nobody is buying jasmine  flowers”

Jasmine is grown on 116 hectares of land in Udupi and the annual production is 863.55 tonnes and its value is estimated at Rs. 120.

Sources claim,  there are more than 10,000 jasmine growers in Udupi and in parts of Dakshina Kannada district. Traders have completely stopped buying flowers now.

Unlike rose, which is a round-the-year crop, jasmine is for just three-four months. Most of them make their] annual earnings during these three months. Since these flowers can’t be stored in cold storages or processed for other purposes, there is a net crop loss for them.

 

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