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Flower Growers and Flower Industry Face Serious Problems amidst COVID19 and Lockdown

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

The Flower Growers of India and the Indian Florists are in a serious trouble since local sales and exports have come to almost a standstill in the wake of the Corona Crisis the country is facing. This year we suppose is a loss in World Floriculture Industry as well. Are there any alternatives to save these flowers, any crisis management measures, have anybody thought of these aspects anytime. Visuals of harvested truckloads of flowers being taken for dumping in compost pits, given to the cattle, much more left carelessly on the ground all are heartbreaking. 

I had spoken with Dr Vishwanath, Joint Director of Horticulture, GOK and the MD of the International Flower Auction Centre Bangalore. The International Flower Auction Centre is the only Auction Centre in India and they have registered buyers and consumers at the Auction Centre. 2.8 Lakh flowers reach the auction centre per day at an average of 5 rupees per flower is what is it auctioned. The auction centre follows a Dutch System of Auctioning where the flowers are bid based on the quality parameters. Dr Vishwanath says they have managed to compile a report on the flower farmers, hitech and normal ones and have submitted it to the government. He adds on to say that the government will decide if it has to provide the compensation. The flowers are much in demand in temples and social functions like marriages but now with Social Distancing these are all out of our way. Any how they are advising the growers to debud so that the flower formation will  be late. They aren’t advising them to reduce the fertilizers as that will affect the overall growth of the plant. 

Mr Subesh, Professor of Horticulture, Periyakulam College had spoken with Dr Dinesh from KF bio Plants about the much needed steps to be taken to handle these issues. For flowers like Chrysanthemums, Gerbera and Lilums they find it difficult to increase the shelf life period. However they are also advising the growers with using vase solutions and pinching/debudding. 

We sincerely hope the conditions become normal and we start enjoying the blooms all around.

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