According to Shivajirao Bhegade, president, Pune District Flower Growers Association, the Valentine’s Day season is followed by another flush of roses in March and April months for the wedding season.
Roses seem to have lost their charm and fragrance, at least for growers in Maval region of Maharashtra who are staring at losses due to nation-wide lockdwon in the wake of the Covid- 19 outbreak.
According to Shivajirao Bhegade, president, Pune District Flower Growers Association, the Valentine’s Day season is followed by another flush of roses in March and April months for the wedding season. “But the markets have been closed since the Covid-19 outbreak and we have not been able to address the domestic market. Rose growers are facing losses to the tune of Rs 50-60 lakh per day,”he said.
Roses are grown in around 1,200 acres of poly houses in Maval region which yield 12-15 lakh flowers per day.
Bhegade said that while large companies can afford their own cold storage, small growers do not have the means for it and therefore they end up pruning the roses on a daily basis even if it means a loss.
With the lockdown, the growers are in for more difficult days, he said, adding that the season has already been bad for the growers with the extended monsoons followed by a spell of heat in January.
Somehow the growers managed to cover their losses during the brief Valentines season, and just when the wedding season was about to begin, the growers find themselves in a bind, he said.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak , most events have been cancelled and this has led to a drop in demand for roses.The local markets include Delhi, Bhopal, Jaipur, Lucknow, Allahabad, Indore, Ahmadabad, Kanpur, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chandigarh. India’s traditional export markets for roses include Europe, Dubai, Japan and UK.
In 2019, Maharashtra farmers saw 166 rainy days as compared to 127 in 2018, followed by 199 sunny days as compared to 231 sunny days (15% fall in sunny day) in 2018. The sunshine and temperatures play very important role in flower production, resulting in overall drop of production by 10 to 15% this year in Maharashtra. In 2017-18, India exported flowers worth Rs 57,66 crore followed by Rs 57.46 crore a year later.
Last two years the exports were stable with shipments worth over Rs 57 crore , this year roses worth Rs 20 crore were exported till November 2019.
The area under rose cultivation in Maharashtra’s Maval (Talegaon)region- known for floriculture has gone upto 2,500 acres to 3,000 acres. This region accounts for nearly 70% of the total rose production in the country for the Valentine’s Day. Farmers generate almost 55% of the revenue between November and March. The five months starting from November till March accounts for 55% of the total production and 73% of total revenue.