Loose flowers lose the race

By Times Of India on 10 Feb 2018 | read
Pune: Vagaries of the weather did not leave even the flower production unscathed in the state.
Production of "loose" flowers in the state fell from 36,000 tonne in the last fiscal to 29,000 tonne in 2017-18. This was revealed by the agriculture ministry's data.

In contrast, production of cut flowers, like roses, gerberas, gladioli etc. — which are grown in the controlled environs of greenhouses and are thus shielded from extreme weather conditions — increased from 41,000 tonne in the last fiscal to 57,000 tonne in 2017-18.

Praveen Sharma, the president of the Indian Society of Floriculture Professionals, said the production of loose flowers, which are grown in open fields, depends much on the weather conditions.

"We saw an extended monsoon last year (in 2017), with extreme rainfall, which destroyed loose flower produce. The impact of extreme weather on loose flowers in 2017 was a major cause for the dip in production," Sharma explained .

Sharma added that cut flowers, on the other hand, are grown in greenhouses and are thus protected from extreme heat, rain and infestation of pests and diseases.

An official of the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC), Pune, too attributed the dip in loose flower production to unseasonal rains and weather fluctuations.