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Business no more a bed of roses for florists as nature takes a thorny turn

Business no more a bed of roses for florists as nature takes a thorny turn

HYDERABAD: Despite the wholesale destruction of flowering gardens situated in the low-lying lands of famous Hatri area, outside Hyderabad city, Sindh, growers are enthusiastically making efforts to bring their traditional business back into blossom.

Local florists told The News that presently the price of gulab (roses) in market rose to Rs250-300/kg. Previously during this season the producers used to sell the product at Rs40-50/kg. This huge price difference may be reason that motivated farmers to revive the gardens.

Manzoor Kalhoro, a florist, said recent rains and floods had destroyed gulab gardens standing on more than 1,000 acres in Hatri area, where the province’s 50 percent commercial flowering fields are located. This is almost 50 percent gardens in the overall province.

“Growers have cleaned the land to rehabilitate the same through replanting rose plants,” Kalhoro added.

Hatri, being situated close to riverine forests, is said to be the center of producing roses and other flower varieties, engaging hundreds of workforce, both male and female. Some families have been growing flowers for generations.

Only a few gardens situated on higher lands remained safe during the deluge. The losses suffered by growers vary from area to area because some of them, who kept dried flowers as usual during the lockdown for better marketing, lost them to rains.

The shortage in the supply created a gap because of high demand and low supply.

On average the flower production is around 30-50kg/acre in the spring season, while it drops to 10-15kg/acre in summer.

The information shows that some farmers with rose gardens on two-three acres wanted to expand the cultivation to five-six acres for better yield to make the most of the rising prices.

Altaf Mahesar, another farmer, managing flower nurseries in the area, said prolonged lockdown following COVID -19 pandemic, locust attacks, and devastating rains together wreaked havoc on flower producers in the province.

“Besides overall demand of rose for value addition, the need increases during the auspicious occasions like the month of Ramazan, Eid celebrations, Rabiul Awwal, Muharram, and in the wedding season in winter,” Mahesar said.

People love to purchase flowers during such events for presenting bouquets and garlands.

Due to rising demand, the flower growers are looking for ready grafted plants to develop their rose gardens. Previously, many of them used to have their own nurseries with 10,000-15,000 plants, for their own grafting mechanism for covering the required pieces of land. But rains and flood also affected standing nurseries in Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas districts, both said to be the centers of nurseries, adding miseries to florists. In this situation the farmers are looking towards Punjab’s Patoki area to buy flower plants at an additional cost of transportation.Previously these grafted plants were available at Rs10-11 each in nurseries of Punjab. Compared to that local nurseries used to sell the similar rose plant at lower prices to meet the demand easily.It is another shock for rose growers that the plants in nurseries of Punjab have diseases, which has ruined valuable plants, creating problems for florists.Looking to ups and downs in the market, nurseries in […]

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