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India: Anantapur farmers smell profits from floriculture

Floriculture is a new trend that is catching on in Anantapur district, one of the backward districts in the State and which also experiences high temperatures and low rainfall. The farmers are apparently betting big on floriculture in view of growing demand for cut flowers in the country and abroad.

The farmers, who used to cultivate capsicum, British cucumber, onion shallots etc, are diversifying to floriculture with a view to improve their earnings. The farmers in the district used to cultivate capsicum and other exotic vegetables in 37 acre. The farmers used to earn ₹8 lakh to ₹10 lakh (12,000-15,000 USD) per acre when capsicum was being cultivated. But, of late, they found that prices of capsicum would fall if there was a bumper crop in neighbouring Karnataka.

Farmers like Akbar Basha felt that floriculture is an alternative way to tide over the problem and switched over to cultivation of cut roses. He began cultivation of hybrid roses in 2.17 acre land. Thanks to the poly house technique employed for floriculture, now, 10 to 15 acre is under hybrid roses and gerberas are being cultivated.

Read more at The Hindu (G.V.R. Subba Rao)

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