India: Growers in Maval finds roses sweeter than sugar cane

In Pune’s Maval region, farms that have cultivated paddy and sugar cane for generations are now growing Dutch roses. Their roses are so good that they have found a market in Japan, Australia, and the Netherlands. You can also find them at weddings and other functions from Jammu & Kashmir to Chennai and from Jaipur to Guwahati.

The 17-member Pawana Phool Utpadak Sangh, started by Mukund Thakar, grows roses on 55 acres here. A day’s produce can range from 1 lakh to 2 lakh roses, and they earn Rs 30 lakh to Rs 40 lakh per month.

“Our busiest time is the fortnight before Valentine’s Day when we plan and work furiously to export 3 lakh to 4 lakh roses per day. This February, we set a new record by supplying 12 lakh roses to the domestic market and 8 lakh outside,” Thakar said.

But it’s taken them years of struggle to get here. There was a time when Thakar almost gave up on rose cultivation. He had taken a bank loan in 2007 to start his polyhouse over 10 gunthas of land in Yewle village near Pune (one acre has 40 gunthas). The venture wasn’t profitable, and Thakar was forced to borrow more to pay his loan installments.

He made a last-ditch effort to make it work by visiting the big flower markets in Mumbai, Hyderabad, and several other cities. Everywhere, he saw a huge difference between the roses sold through brokers and those marketed directly. He realized that he needed more land to scale up.


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