Ashadha gloom in flower markets as business fails to bloom

Business has been rather dull for the past two months in the flower markets in the district.

The prices of flowers have come down drastically owing to lack of demand as the months of Ashadha are considered inauspicious for occasions such as marriages, house-warming ceremonies and so on.

During April and May, the flower prices were high and so were the number of functions. It was inevitable for customers to buy flowers, draining their pockets, as no auspicious occasion could be celebrated without floral decoration.

While it is Ashadha for the Hindus, when good occasions are prohibited, for the Muslims it was the month of Ramzan, which combinedly hit the flower prices. However, flowers are purchased now only foradorning idols of deities.

Production increased

Flower cultivation has increased several folds due to copious rain, and the production of jasmine, especially, has been good. The market rate of jasmine, which was Rs 800 per roll before a month, has come down to Rs 80. The flower cultivators are reluctantly selling jasmine for the simple reason that they do not want the flowers to wither.

A blow for vendors

It’s not just the growers, even vendors are facing hard times this Ashadha. There are almost 12 wholesale flower merchants and more than 300 retail vendors in Dakshina Kannada. The concern of the wholesale vendors is that they have not been earning sufficiently enough from the sales of flowers to pay the salaries of five to 10 workers at their shops. In Mangaluru city alone, there are 10 wholesale and 120 retail flower merchants.

Mangaluru also gets flowers from Shankarapura, Bhatkal, Chitradurga, Hassan, Mysuru, Ramanagar, Tumakuru, Davangere and Shivamogga.

Good days ahead

However, the gloom will not last long for flower growers and vendors as festivals are lined up with the onset of Shravana masa, which falls immediately after Ashadha. Festivals like Nagarapanchami, Krishnashthami, Ganesha Chaturthi, Varamahalakshmi pooja will add to the spirit of flower vendors, and so are the auspicious occasions like marriages, holy thread and house-warming ceremonies. Flower prices will catch up again.
Master Flower (Mangaluru) proprietor M Pakirabba said Ashadha months were frightening for them, as all the profit earned during the previous months would be gone. “During this time, only three of the eight employees will have jobs. But still we cannot leave out the others,” he said.Another flower vendor HMJ Jaj proprietor C K Khasim said the earnings in the months of Ashadha were not even sufficient to compensate transport expenses.

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