The ongoing Covid-19 crisis over the last four and a half months has taken a huge toll on the entire Floriculture industry worldwide, including India. “Our farmer friends had just started recovering from their losses caused by the use of artificial plastic flowers, but now this pandemic worldwide has hit them hard”, says Dr. Bhagyashree Patil, Chairperson & MD of Rise ‘n Shine Group of Companies, Pune, India. Over the last months, this Indian tissue culture producer is doing their utmost best to bring the situation near to normal by organizing several webinars and bringing the industry together to overcome this. While hoping for better days, their farmers started replanting. “Success is all about growing together with others” they say and they are therefore also proud to announce that they are now member of the World Flower Council.
Rose plot at Rise 'n Shine with Dr. Bhagyashree Patil
Pandemic affecting the chain
The modern floriculture industry is a global web of businesses comprising breeders, propagators, growers, exporters, shippers, importers, wholesalers, and distributors that operate in an inter-dependent manner to bring all-year-round products to a huge number of consumers around the world. And according to Dr. Bhagyashree Patil, because of this interdependence that the worldwide floriculture industry has been one to experience the greatest impact of the COVID-19 crisis since mid-March.
So how is the situation in India? “Like we have seen in other countries and what we are still seeing in India, is that growers are grappling with excess supplies of their products as their harvests cannot get to their intended customers due to disruptions caused by the pandemic. Production and harvests are further being disrupted as lockdowns and restrictions on movement obstruct transportation, labour, and demand.”
Carnation planting at Om Sri Sai Flowers Bangalore
Many Indian families impacted
The floriculture industry is a major employer in the rural parts of India. “Many semi-skilled, unskilled labourers have been employed in farms who earn a livelihood for their families. Hard decisions are to be made everywhere. In the major production areas in India, growers have to balance the cost of securing the livelihoods of their employees while maintaining the productive capacity of plants in the ground for the future, all from significantly reduced income.”
Efforts to bring the situation near to normal
At Rise n' Shine they are doing their utmost best to support the families in need and to bring the situation near to normal. “We have always believed in supporting the people who have helped the floriculture industry flourish through their contribution, even in the toughest of times. So, to help our floriculture growers and farmers in this time of need, we are trying our best to bring the situation near to normal.”
In the past few months, they did a couple of webinars to update farmers and growers about the current situation, considered their opinion in resolving the problems, and approached a couple of government authorities for help. “Our recent webinar was with the Hon. Shri Dadasaheb Bhuse (Minister for Agriculture, Ex-servicemen welfare, Govt of Maharashtra), Hon Shri Satej Patil (Minister of State for Home, Housing, Transport, Information and Technology, Parliamentary Affairs, Ex-Serviceman welfare, Govt of Maharashtra), Hon/Shri Vishwajeet Kadam (Minister of State for Cooperation, Agriculture Social Justice, Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection, Minorities Development), and Aukaf. Marathi language Govt. of Maharashtra, Mr. Govind Gangaram Hande (Ex.Technical officer Export Commissionerate of Agriculture Maharashtra Pune). Many renowned growers from all over Maharashtra and India attended their webinar.”
Rise n' Shine distributing flowers to COVID warrior doctors.
As transportation has been a large issue, Rise n’ Shine also helped many growers in delivering flowers directly to temples. Few were also sent to all the COVID-19 Front Line Warriors in hospitals to boost their morale and to express our gratitude. “While words always grant encouragement, we are happy that our flowers got a smile on their face!”
On the left: Gerbera planting at Om Sri Sai Flowers Bangalore, on the right: Gerbera Flowring at Mr Guman Singh Tomer plot Dehradun Uttarakhan recently
Rise 'n Shine's Indian growers have now started replanting while staying strong and believing that better days will arrive sooner. "Our esteem grower from Bangalore, Mr. Srikanth Bollapally, for example, has planted 6 acres each of carnation and gerbera, while a few more products like strawberry plantation are in the pipeline. He is truly a great leader and drives other people to achieve success. Mr. Srikant leads through example and we are grateful for his initiative taken for the new plantation that motivates others. This will not only influence others but also give them the courage to take the right step on time.”
And more of their growers across the country continued or started growing again. “From Dehradun, for example, Uttrakhand, Mr. Guman Singh Tomer’s plot has beautiful fresh produce ready for the market now. From Palghar, near Mumbai, our growers Mr Ramchandra Save, Mr Prakash Raut and Mr Udayan Save have planted 4 acres of Orchid. Great efforts will surely give good returns.”
Recent Orchid plantation at Palghar near Mumbai during Covid pandemic
Dr. Bhagyashree Patil is happy to see that the Indian floriculture industry is joining forces. “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. We therefore feel very proud to share that in India, many regional floriculture communities have joined hands and have come together to overcome this time of adversity and emerge stronger than ever by supporting one another. The motive is: Do not lose hope at all as we will always find a solution together to overcome such difficult times.”
With the motto: Wisdom equals knowledge plus courage, Indian floriculturists have taken a positive step to overcome this pandemic. “Many small farmers in villages have joined hands with each other and formed cluster farming together. They know what to do and when to do for a bumper harvest.”
Banana plant in polyhouse
Banana Tissue Culture Planting
Besides the floriculture industry, Rise n’ Shine is also active in the horticulture industry and they are happy to see that their Banana Tissue culture planting as well as the exports resumed with great speed. “We are successfully exporting our ex-agar and hardened Banana plants to many countries like Ethiopia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Vietnam, Ghana, Morocco, Uganda, and Japan.”
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
"Success is all about growing together with others. Rise n' Shine is ready to help the entire floriculture as well as horticulture family in India and worldwide. Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. Let’s together flourish our world once again!"