IN: A local marigold harvest for Onam festivities

More than a hundred farmers under the aegis of various women’s self-help groups and Punchiri Balasabha (a commune of young children) in Kottuvally panchayat in the district have begun harvesting marigold flowers meant for Onam festivities.

This is the first time that attempts are being made in the district to cultivate flowers that are used to make floral carpets and other ceremonial decorations during the Onam season, Agriculture Department sources said. The initiative comes under the Kottuvally Krishi Bhavan.

Eighteen groups of farmers are cultivating marigold flowers in areas ranging from 25 cents to 50 cents. Besides, young boys at the St. Joseph’s Boys’ Home in Koonammavu have taken up marigold cultivation for more than 50 cents. The flowers are meant for the Onam season sales as the bulk of the flowers used for decorations during the festival season are imported from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The Agriculture Department says that while cultivation of flowers for the Onam season locally will help increase the income of farmers, efforts are also being made to inculcate the idea of farming in young people.

The Krishi office in Kottuvally panchayat has also encouraged students at the Koonammavu Chavara Darshan CMI Public School to take up upland paddy cultivation. Students have taken up paddy cultivation in 50 cents in front of the school.

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