With Onam, the 10-day harvest festival set to begin on August 30, flowers and snacks are taking off from Coimbatore.
Consignments with tonnes of golden yellow marigolds, white chrysanthemums, purple vaadamalli (gomphrena), fragrant white sampangi (magnolia), tulsi, cut roses, and Madurai malli blossoms are swiftly moving to destinations in the UAE just in time for Onapookalam, the multi-colored floral decoration that is an integral part of Onam. According to officials at the Coimbatore Airport, the commodity portfolio at export cargo always sees an increase in demand for flowers during Onam.
“We send flowers like jasmine, sampangi, and marigolds sourced from Nilakottai, Satyamangalam, and Hosur; Arali from Salem and lotus from Nagercoil to Dubai,” says K Sethumadhavan, proprietor of Vanguard Exports, who has been exporting traditional flowers for over two decades. He sends five tonnes of flowers every day in air cargo out of Coimbatore, Tiruchi, Bengaluru, and airports in Kerala. “The markets there see brisk sales during the last four days of Onam from September 4 to 8 that concludes with Thiruonam,” he says, adding that, unlike other commodities, flowers require an unbroken cold chain and specialized packaging.
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