Poor arrivals due to continuing dry weather conditions has led to a sharp rise in the prices of flowers in the city markets.
Traders report that arrivals of almost all popular flower varieties have come down drastically over the past three months and hence the prices have stayed high.
The flower markets at Sathara Veedhi in Srirangam and the Gandhi Market in the city are major business hubs from where flowers are purchased by retail traders from places as far as Villupuram and Vridhachalam besides the core delta districts of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam.
The price of jasmine, which attracts the maximum demand in the two markets, was being quoted at ₹200-250 a kg on Thursday, a day ahead of the last Friday of the Tamil month of Aadi and ‘Varalakshmi Nombu.’ However, traders at the markets say that the price rise was not just due to this.
“The price of the flower has been ruling abnormally high over three months as arrivals have dwindled from villages around Tiruchi such as Ettarai, Koppu, Nachalur, Nangavaram, Gopurapatti, Tirupainjeeli and other places. Normally, during this season, if there was good water flow in the Cauvery, the flower used to sell at ₹50 – 60 a kg and ₹100-120 ahead of festival days,” said V.Varadharajan, vice-president, Flower Dealers Association, Srirangam.
The prices of almost all flowers, including rose and sampangi, have also gone up. ‘Viruchipoo,’ a speciality in Srirangam market, which is normally sold at ₹80 a kg is now quoted between ₹200 -240 a kg. The price of even the ‘samanthi’ variety which is used in garlands/wreaths meant for adorning the dead is ruling high as the flowers are now being woven into garlands used for other purposes too for want of adequate arrivals of other varieties, Mr.Varadharajan said.
I. Kuthbudeen, president, Flower Commission Merchant Association, Gandhi Market, said arrivals of almost all flowers, including jasmine, have come down by 50 to 60 % over the past three months. “However, the demand is the same and hence the price rise. Many farmers have been struggling to keep the plants alive due to lack of rain. Most plants had withered due to failure of monsoon last year. We expect the situation to return to normal only after the monsoon,” he said.
Conceding that floriculture farmers have been badly affected, Puliyur A. Nagarajan, president, farmers wing of the Tamil Maanila Congress, said that jasmine crop in many fields around Tiruchi have withered for want of water. Only some farmers have managed to keep the crop alive with the help of available groundwater. But even the water table has gone down badly now. The Public Works Department should immediately release water in the 17 irrigation canals fed by the Cauvery. A wetting could improve the water table and help farmers,” he said.
But, the increase in price, Mr. Nagarajan contended, has not benefited farmers much as most of them have suffered heavy losses due to absence of rain.
(source : The Hindu