November 28, 2022

The flower market loses its fragrance

‘Sravana maasam’, an auspicious month in the Telugu calendar, has not pleased traders and wholesale flower market commissioners here. Flower prices have increased, but not as much as before. Also, there is no hectic activity that is usually seen during this time.

Flowers such as the chrysanthemum, considered essential during the Varalakshmi puja, have become a rare commodity. Similarly, southern wood (davanam) and sweet marjoram (maruvam) are not seen in the market.

Reportedly, several varieties including roses are imported daily from Bangalore, while jasmine and winter jasmine (jaji) are sourced from local markets. But arrivals have dropped significantly. Each trader sold no less than 1,000 kg of flowers per day. Now it is down to 400 kg to 600 kg per day.

Similarly, arrivals of jasmine (trunk) and firecracker (kanakambaram) fell. No more than 100-150 kg of jasmine are sold in the market every day. Only one or two traders are able to obtain just over 10 kg of firecrackers every day. Firecrackers are sold at ₹600 per kg on Wednesday.

No supply

Vendors like Khwaja say there is no supply of ‘davanam’ and ‘maruvam’ from Chennai for over a month. There is no possibility of supplying these varieties this season. As an alternative, green foliage, which has no aroma, is used in garlands, he says.

S. Appa Rao, a vendor who usually sells hybrid roses and varieties like the star, switched to Persian roses (“desi gulabi”/“naatu gulabi”). ‘Naatu gulabi’, supplied by farmers from neighboring villages in Guntur district, is sold for ₹80 per kg.

A month ago, Persian roses were sold at just ₹40 per kg. It is not possible to invest in hybrid roses and close sales before noon. Thus, “naatu gulabi” is sold, he says. Prices for ‘kagada malle’ have doubled and are selling at ₹400 per kg. Chrysanthemum is sold at ₹320 per kg. Winter jasmine is sold for ₹80 per kg.