Farmers strike gold with marigold

Farmers strike gold with marigold
Highlights

A farmer duo has struck gold cultivating marigold. The beautiful flower yellow in hue proved to be profitable for the duo of Pithapuram. The blossoming flower has enhanced the happiness of them as they began to earn a profit of Rs 1 lakh from just half an acre land.

Pithapuram: A farmer duo has struck gold cultivating marigold. The beautiful flower yellow in hue proved to be profitable for the duo of Pithapuram. The blossoming flower has enhanced the happiness of them as they began to earn a profit of Rs 1 lakh from just half an acre land. Discouraged by failure of cotton and red chilli during the past two years, farmers of Gollaprolu mandal have switched over to marigold. The input costs are not much. Therefore, the farmers opted for marigold cultivation.

According to Ramisetty Venkata Ramana and Chintapalli Bullabbayi, who sustained losses cultivating cotton and red chilli, forgot their woes upon seeing the more than normal size of the flower and the bountiful crop. They recovered the investment made and also earned Rs 50,000 profit from the sale of flowers they did during the auspicious Telugu month of Sravana. They are optimistic of earning Rs 1 lakh profit by the end of December when the auspicious Telugu month of Karthikam concludes. The two farmers have set an example for other farmers to emulate.

Upon consulting his friend in Bangaluru, Ramisetty Venkata Ramana imported marigold seeds packets each costing Rs 2,500. He along with Bullabbayi spent Rs 8,000 per acre each on seeds. There are 1,000 seeds in 100 grams packet. Instead of buying plants spending Rs 1.50 to Rs 2 each, the farmer duo transplanted marigold seedlings.

Compared to the Kolkata variety, the Bengaluru variety produces bigger flowers. The flower commands price in the open market depending on the size. The flower is attractive and hence farmers are evincing an interest to buy the flowers.

Traders are purchasing the flowers at the farm gate itself. This variety commands a price between Rs 180 and Rs 200 in the open market whereas the normal variety is sold Rs 100 a kg. Venkata Ramana said that he had earned Rs 1 lakh by sale of flowers during Ganesh festival and Sravana Masam. He is hopeful of earning at least Rs 2 lakh per acre.

The marigold plant yields flowers after 45 days. The yield can be harvested for about 65 days since the flowering of the plant. He said that the crop was harvested seven times so far each harvest varies between 80 kg and 120 kg. He said that the flowers are plucked every four days as there is the danger of the plant leaning under the weight of the flower.

The flowers are exported to Kakinada, Rajahmundry and Hyderabad. Exporting the flowers to Hyderabad market fetches Rs 200 a kg. The farmers said that they incurred an expenditure of Rs 25,000 on fertilisers and pesticides for half an acre. They have not employed agriculture workers to pluck the flowers and maintained that they themselves would do it. The farmer duo set an example for other farmers to emulate with their choice of the crop in crop rotation. Moreover, the crop enhances soil fertility.

By Saride Nageswara Rao

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