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Jasmine price falls to Rs. 10 a kg

For a kg of jasmine, a farmer has to spend aroundRs. 30. –

For jasmine growers of Salem district, it is a life sans fragrance.

These flowers, which were sold some three months back at Rs. 1,000 a kg fell to Rs. 10 a kg on Tuesday because of a sudden glut in its production putting the farmers in a predicament. This has forced many farmers to abandon plucking. Earlier, buds were plucked three times a day.

Salem, after Madurai, is known for its highly rich fragrant gundu malli. Thousands of acreage has been brought under its cultivation in the surrounding areas of Panamarathupatti, Mallur, Karuvelakadu, Poolavari, Poolampatti, Veeranam, Pallipatti, Valasaiyur, Vazhakuttapatti and Narikkalkadu as the demand reached its peak. P. Kandasami from Karuvelakadu who is cultivating the flower in 50 cents says that the peak season for its production is between March and June when around 10 tonnes to 15 tonnes would be produced a day in Salem and its suburbs. Of which nearly 4 tonnes are airlifted to Mumbai and other northern cities via Bangalore. During the non seasonal period of November to February the production would come down to 3 tonnes a day.

“The farmers use to send the major share of the produce to perfume making units at Nilakottai in Madurai district and Mettupalayam in Coimbatore. Since the arrivals this time are very heavy, these units are relying on the local variety and have stopped procuring the flowers from Salem, which has led to a sudden glut here,” says another farmer in the near-by Valasiyur village. “For 1 kg of flowers, a farmer has to spend around Rs. 30. How can he meet his expenses?” asks Senthil, a flower trader adding that this is the first time that jasmine is being sold at such a low price.

Many politicians have promised to take steps to establish a perfume manufacturing factory at Panamarathupatti. But nothing has so far materialised.

The only smiling faces one sees nowadays at the mention of jasmine, are those of the women.

Source:  Hindu



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