In 2015 DilshadaBano, 45 from Batwina, Ganderbal decided to grow flowers on a commercial scale and convinced her husband's relatives to convert six canals of paddy land into flower growing beds.
The risk paid off and Dilshada found huge demand for flowers. She wisely picked two specific flowers called Gerbera and Carnation, which are in high demand in the market. At the height of her work, she used to send approximately 800 bundles of flower spikes to Srinagar every month which later were distributed to the respective markets and hotels for their good demand.
The income far exceeded than the usual rice crop. She was an inspiration for the other farmers who too were mulling to become floriculturists. But the success proved short lived and in August 2019 when everything came to a standstill, the flower fields slowly turned from bright orange and pink into graveyard of wilted flowers. A hope of normalcy dragged on and ultimately was dashed when the COVID lockdown was imposed all over the country.
The farmers in general and floriculturists in particular are now pinning hopes on the government for their support and positive intervention to help them fix what was already on the edge.
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