Marigold, a goldmine for farmers

The plants with huge blobs of yellow are a photographer’s delight and tourists passing on the road alight to take a snap amid these flowers before resuming their journey.
Farmers of the district, who were growing traditional crops, have switched over to marigold due to high demand in the market for manufacturing colours (dyes), poultry feed, medicine, aroma products apart from making garlands.

Marigold is currently being grown in around 2,000 acres of land in the district and farmers have got a good profit at Punajanuru, Banavadi, Kolipalya and other villages in Kollegal taluk.

It is said that the farmers have an agreement with a private company in Tamil Nadu. The company, apart from supplying seeds and other facilities, buys the produce at the doorsteps of farmers. There are several units manufacturing dyes, poultry feed and others at Satyamangala and Mettupalayam.

Marigold is ready for transplantation after 20 to 22 days of sowing seeds. If there is sufficient water supply, flowers would be ready for harvest within a month.

If marigold is grown at half-an-acre of land the grower is sure to get around 500 kg of
flowers, said farmer Marimuthu near Suvaranavathi reservoir. The companies pay Rs 5 per kg of the flower. So, the grower may get at least Rs 15,000 within three months, he says.

Another variety of marigold, which is bigger, is used for garlands and fetches Rs 10 per kg. Some farmers suffer loss as some traders have taken their lands on contract.

Though farmers growing marigold are not eligible for support price under horticulture mission, they may get help under drip irrigation project.

Deputy Director of horticulture Girish said farmers may make use of drip irrigation project and grow other alternative crops too.

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