India: Wholesale rate of flowers drop as heavy rains play spoilsport

The festival season is not bringing much cheer to either flower growers or wholesalers who were banking on the volume of sales to tide them through Dasara. While farmers are struggling with crop loss, the lack of supply has done little to increase prices as demand has also dropped considerably. Since Ganesh Chathurthi, the wholesale rates of flowers have been dropping steadily as rains play spoilsport.

Most retail vendors sell flowers on the road but have stopped doing so due to the rains. People are not buying as much either, even when compared to 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic was more prevalent.

"Compared to last year, the rate of flowers is very low this Dasara season," said G.M. Divakar from the K.R. Market Flower Merchants’ Association. In the wholesale market, jasmine flowers are selling at just ₹400/kg, while at the same time last year, a kg of jasmine gained around ₹800. Similarly, kanakambara (crossandra or firecracker flower) is selling at around ₹200/kg, compared to ₹800/kg during the festive season in 2020. The wholesale rates for shevantige (chrysanthemum) and chandu hoova (marigold) is around ₹50-₹60 a kg.

This has come as a huge blow to growers who are struggling to cope with crop loss and low rates. According to Govind Y.D., a flower grower from Chickballapur, there has been no let-up in rain over the past five years. Flowers are rotting and laborers are hesitant to harvest them, he said.

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