Tamil Nadu farmers take up floriculture to reap rich dividends

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Karamadai (Tamil Nadu), Oct.7 (ANI): Tamil Nadu farmers have taken up floriculture using green houses and growing gerbera flowers to reap rich dividends.

Gerbera is a breed of ornamental flowers from the sunflower family.

In the past, all gerbera was grown in flowerbeds in the open and this practice changed in the seventies, when techniques for multiplication with in-vitro became available.

Gerbera is a plant that is multiplied 100 percent in-vitro, the most modern way of propagation in horticulture. Using this technique, it is possible to produce large amounts of a new variety in a relatively short span of time.

These methods allowed a different approach in breeding and selection of gerbera flowers and the results under greenhouse proved to be fruitful.

"Farmers are switching over to greenhouse cultivation. Green house cultivation gives more yield as well as good quality flowers, fruits and vegetables because it gives more profit as well as uniform size of fruits and uniform size of flowers," said Vasanthi Gananasekar, Assistant Director, Horticulture Department of Coimbatore District.

She also noted that many farmers have been approaching the department to set up greenhouse farms.

The government is also providing ample subsidies to the farmers who want to take up floriculture through greenhouse farming.

In and around Karamadai there are over 50 greenhouses set up by enterprising floriculturists.

One such enterprising floriculturist is Rathinam in Karamadai village in Coimbatore district.

"Well, we are traditional farmers. For this greenhouse, the bank financed us with rupees six lakh. Over and above it, for the screen and allied facilities another rupees one lakh was spent and additional expenses were in the range of rupees two lakh for the 7000 Gerbera flowers (seeds, saplings and cultivation) in nine colours," said Rathinam.

"Thus around 10 lakh rupees were incurred. Flowers grow well with ice brightness in greenhouse,"

Rathinam also said the daily plucking from the 7000 plants is in the range of 400 to 450 flowers, which is sold at rupees 2 to 2.50 per flower.

On their part, the traders sell these flowers at rupees 10 in the market. Thus, a farmer earns around 800 rupees per day. By Jehovah (ANI)

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