Roses keep farmers' finances in the pink

The depleting groundwater level and lack of alternative sources of water have forced the farmers to abandon agricultural activities and take up rose cultivation.

They have even opted out of growing vegetables after their economy blossomed with the flower business.

Myriad varieties

They have made good use of the government schemes and adopted drip irrigation for their rose gardens.

They cultivate various varieties of roses such as Baroda of Dutch and Black Music that yield continually for a span of five years. They have to be pruned once a year and be protected from pest attacks during winter in November-December. The Black Music variety is in great demand in Bangalore.

Fresh ones

Roses that remain fresh for three days after harvesting are transported to Salem and Chennai in Tamil Nadu and Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. They fetch Rs 13 a dozen when sold directly by farmers.

Prakash, a trader, says a bunch of flowers fetches him Rs 30 to Rs 50 in Tamil Nadu. “We sell around 5,000 roses a month,” says Ramesh, a farmer.

Cultivation of roses requires less investment and irrigation, he says, adding that the profit margin for farmers is high.

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