TAD NewsDesk, New Delhi: Floriculture farmers are facing difficulties in supplying flowers due to the increased freight expenses. The farmers are still recovering from the losses that happened during the Covid 19 lockdown. The losses amounted up to a price of Rs 100 crore.
According to the Indian Society of Floriculture Professionals (ISFP), out of the estimated 2,000 acres of cut flower growing area are under protected cultivation in India, with a daily production of 30-40 lakh stems. This was informed by Praveen Sharma, president of the society.
Mr Sharma added that the export markets have completely crashed with the cancellation of weddings hitting flower growers hard.
Moreover, he also said that
“Out of the 55 wedding muhurats in 2020, 23 muhurats alone fell in March, April and May, which were among the worst affected periods.”
Farmers plan their cultivation keeping in view the summer weddings. In the absence of these weddings, which account for almost 40% of the entire year’s wedding muhurats, farmers are going to find it tough, he said. To run a cut flowers farm, on average, farmers incur average monthly expenses of Rs 1-1.25 lakh per acre. However, during the lockdown, there was no revenue, but the cost to be incurred remained the same.
Najeeb Ahemad, president of, South Indian Floriculture Association (SIFA) commented that the lockdown has really given a strain to the livelihood of the farmers of floriculture.
Mr Ahemad added that the Indian cut flower business is miniscule compared to international giants like Ecuador and Colombia where they have thousands of acres of farms, he said. There was no business from March 2020 till October 2020 and although business began picking up after October, the high freight rates made it uneconomical for Indian flower growers to export flowers, he said. This business is heavily dependent on labour and reverse migration of labour has hit crop maintenance.
“Meeting operational expenses remains a big challenge; many of the growers may find it difficult to survive. If this continues, it may affect the quantity and quality of production for the next 3 months, as the plants need daily care.”
Like all the other business lines of the country, floriculture also saw a downfall during this lockdown and is waiting for a recovery to be made in the cultivation process.
Source: Financial Express