Theni: This Onam the flowers won’t come from Theni as the pandemic and floods have affected the gardens in this district. The flower gardens which were once spread across 4000 acres of land have now shrunk to 500 acres. This time around the Tamilnadu farmers didn’t really plan their flower gardens keeping an eye on the Onam season.
Ever since large-scale flower farming took a beating some of the flowers are reaching Kerala via Kumali through small-scale farmers. The farmers are also claiming that they are getting reasonable rates.
According to the Tamil Nadu Horticulture directors, flower farming in the state is spread across 23,200 hectares of land. Yearly 2,36,400 tons of flowers are produced. It was during the Onam season that the Tamilnadu farmers made maximum profits. During this season tons of flowers were exported to foreign countries from Theni, Kambam, and Madurai. Seelayampatti, a village in the Cumbom valley which is about 20 km from Theni is considered as a flower capital. Chrysanthemum, Marigold, rose, Jasmine, Oleander, Pichi are some of the important varieties. Flowers such as feathered amaranth, Chrysanthemum, firecracker flower, globe amaranth which are different varieties of Jasmine were gathered from Madurai. Nilakottai, Perungudi, Uthapanikkannor are also suitable for flower cultivation.
But, flower cultivation is not thriving as it was earlier in these places. A lot of farmers have stopped planting flowers here. Now you can see coconut and banana plantations here. Even the shutting down of colleges and other institutions due to the pandemic has affected the flower trade as earlier they would buy flowers in bulk for their flower carpet competitions.