India: Flowers ending up as ‘cheap cattle feed’ — floriculturists turn to fruits as trade wilts

Floriculturists across the country are reeling under the effects of a near-complete halt in weddings, religious ceremonies and events in India since 25 March, when the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 was imposed.

Flowers being a luxury item, their demand has crashed both domestically and abroad, hitting exports.

Staring at a business loss for at least the next two-three years due to poor outlook for public events and gatherings amid public health fears, many are now even considering a shift to conventional farming of fruits and vegetables.

Ramesh Kumar, a floriculturist who cultivates roses on the Yamuna river bank in the Arail village of Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj, said the April-June wedding season and festivals, corporate events and other banquet events in summer holidays are crucial for his business.

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