Vijayawada: The wholesale flower market in Vijayawada is flooded with different varieties of flowers with the onset of Dhanurmasam, Bhavani deeksha and Ayyappa deeksha. Taking advantage of the increasing demand, the traders are also raising the prices of flowers.
Several varieties of flowers, including roses, are being imported from Bengaluru on a daily basis. Besides the imported flowers, marigold, chrysanthemum, lily and other varieties are cultivated in surrounding villages of Vijayawada city are also available aplenty in the markets.
Padma, a housewife from Satyanarayanapuram, who visited the market for purchasing flowers for the festival said traders were increasing the prices due to the rise in demand during Bhavani deeksha.
A florist, Tota Srinivas, said they are bringing in gerbera, carnation, orchid and other exotic flowers from Bengaluru to meet the demand. He said the demand would be more during the marriage season from February to April. He said that they are selling marigold at Rs 30 a kilo and chrysanthemum at Rs 80 per kilo.
An Ayyappa devotee, Sasidhar, said that they were left with little choice but to buy flowers at exorbitant costs to perform the daily puja. With the increase in demand, several farmers in Mylavaram mandal of Krishna district have switched over to jasmine cultivation.
They have formed societies and with the financial support from NABARD they have started cultivating jasmine flowers and exporting them to Hyderabad.
The farmers are trained by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. NABARD AGM N. Madhumurthy said that they have extended a loan of Rs 65 lakh to societies of farmers under Umbrella Programme for Natural Resources Management.
He said over 200 small and marginal farmers benefit from the programme. Now they are planning to train the farmers in packaging of jasmines at an export company at Cochin to get added value to the flowers by exporting them into the foreign market.