India: Vendors blame flooding and rain for pricey flowers this festival season

With the Dasara festivities and the customary practice of offering puja to ‘Ayudhas,’ flower vendors said that the rates of jasmine, lilies and marigold have multiplied. A kilo of jasmine now costs Rs 1,000, lilies Rs 300, and marigold Rs 120. GN Diwakar, President, KR Market Flower Merchant Association, said that the rate of flowers has almost doubled as the crops were damaged during heavy rain this year.

The supply of flowers to the city markets comes from Malur, Hoskote, Bengaluru, Anekal, Nelamangala, Kolar, Hosuru, and Davanagere. “The minimum cost of a small garland of jasmine ranges from Rs 600 to Rs 800. Similarly, for offering puja to vehicles and office equipment, marigold and lilies are used. The price of marigold jumped from Rs 20 per kg last week to Rs 100, while lilies a kilo were sold at Rs 150 last week, have now doubled to Rs 300. The inflation is due to a rise in demand and shortage of supply as tons of flowers were damaged,” Diwakar said.

Krishna MR, a farmer involved in floriculture, said that he, along with his relatives, owns 1.5 acres of land. He recalled that from September 4 to 8, the land was flooded, and standing crops of roses and marigolds were destroyed.

One of the farmers said that he plans to supply marigold and chrysanthemum during Diwali after removing all the decayed plants from his nursery near Bengaluru. “We were ready to supply marigold and chrysanthemum during Dasara, but flooding in Bengaluru led to 1.5 acres of flower buds being submerged for four days after Dakshina Pinakini swelled, resulting in a loss of around Rs 5 lakh.”

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