India: Kerala smells a change, flowers bloom on farms

Onam is the time when almost every individual in the state buys flowers to arrange floral carpets. But there is an increasing demand for them throughout the year as marigolds, roses, and other varieties are used to make garlands and bouquets for weddings and other functions.

The high demand and good returns have triggered a flower revolution in Kerala, with the state government’s ‘Njangalum Krishiyilekku’ project, which aimed at achieving self-sufficiency in farm products, spurring it on.

Close on the heels of the success achieved by farmers last year, many more individuals and also groups supported by civic bodies took to growing marigolds, chrysanthemums, and globe amaranth in different parts of the state.

Unlike those in the neighboring states, Kerala farmers are yet to go in for large-scale cultivation of ‘loose’ flowers like marigold, globe amaranth, jasmine, and chrysanthemum. According to Agriculture Director Sunil, the cultivation was done under various schemes launched by panchayats and Krishi Bhavan. “The cultivation was done mostly by individuals, and it happened in certain pockets,” said Sunil.

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