Rose country in the making
Flower sales fetched the Churah Valley Vegetable and Agriculturists Cooperative Society Rs 8.16 crore in 2011-12, marking successive jumps from Rs 3.63 crore in 2009-10 and Rs 6.54 crore in 2010-11. All this came amid competition from other Himachal Pradesh farmers who ventured into commercial cultivation of flowers and been trying to capture major markets in North India. Hence the plan to diversify into something new. Churah farmers have already experimented with a few varieties of red roses and are optimistic that in five years they can turn their valley, 500 km from Shimla, into a “rose country”.
“Roses are in high demand,” says O P Sharma, a Central Customs officer who belongs to Churah and is working with the society on its “alternative development” project. “They have a longer shelf life and are easier to handle than the other flowers being grown in the Churah valley. It takes our consignments, currently sent through HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Corporation) buses, more than 24 hours to reach Delhi markets. A delay of a few more hours would take away the freshness of the Churah flowers, whose USP is being the most favoured.”
There is yet another reason for
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