armers in villages around Kollegal have found an alternative way to improve their earnings and turn their area into a hub for floriculture.
Thanks to the poly house technique employed for floriculture, over 15 farmers are growing about 60,000 sticks of gerbera flower every month. Each stick is sold for Rs. 6 to Rs. 7 in the booming market for ornamental flowers in Bengaluru.
“Temperature and humidity can be controlled in the naturally ventilated poly houses. By this way, farmers can achieve expected yield and returns. More farmers are getting motivated from those who are already into floriculture and setting up poly houses,” Deputy Director of Horticulture H.M. Nagaraj said.
Speaking to The Hindu , he said that the market for ornamental flowers was encouraging and the demand for flowers such as gerbera peaked during wedding and festival seasons.
The Department of Horticulture gives a subsidy of Rs. 16.88 lakh for establishing a poly house on one acre. “Each farmer may spend between Rs. 35 lakh and Rs.40 lakh to develop the poly house. After three months of planting, flowering begins. Each plant can survive for 3-4 years and yield flowers depending on how they are taken care of,” explains Senior Assistant Director of Horticulture, Shashidhar.
He told The Hindu that the farmers were motivated to take up floriculture and were helped by stakeholders for establishing the needed infrastructure besides supporting with technical knowledge.
Mr. Shashidhar said that there were already 15 farmers who were into floriculture and five more were setting up poly houses.
The gerbera seedlings were sourced from a Pune-based company. About 4,000 flowers can be harvested from one acre, he said, adding that a few farmers from Mudugunda, Kunagali, Bhootabalu and Cheluvanahalli were into gerbera farming.
Importantly, farmers get spot payment for their produce at the Bengaluru market.
Temperature and humidity can be controlled in the naturally ventilated poly houses. By this way, farmers can achieve expected yield and returns,
H.M. Nagaraj,Deputy Director of Horticulture