Udupi jasmine growers hit hard by lockdown


the hindu, 20-04-2020 16:35:05


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Udupi jasmine growers hit hard by lockdown

Dept. estimates loss at ₹25 lakh daily

The lockdown on account of the COVID-19 has hit the growers of Udupi Mallige, also known as Shankarpura jasmine, in Udupi district hard.

This jasmine, which enjoys Geographical Indication (GI) tag, is cultivated by about 7,000 growers in Shankarpura, Shirva, Bantakal, Innanje, Bantakal, and surrounding areas in Udupi district.

According to the crop survey of Horticulture Department, it is grown on 116 hectares and its production is estimated at 863.55 tonnes, valued at ₹12.09 crore. The stoppage of festivities in temples and prohibition of large gatherings including marriages and closure of flower shops in the district have hit the jasmine growers.

Sudheesh Bhandary, who cultivates this jasmine on 50 cents of land at Panjimaru village, told The Hindu that the yield of jasmine was high from March to May and there were more festivities and functions during these months.

“Now I get 12 chendus of flowers, that is 9,600 flowers, daily. I cannot sell it. [A total of 800 flowers go into making one chendu). I suffer a minimum loss of ₹1,000 per day,” he said.

According to Guruprasad, Assistant Director of Horticulture, the loss to the jasmine growers in the district was estimated at ₹25 lakh per day.

Losses to grow

“The loss will be ₹9 crore if the lockdown continues till the end of this month. A report on this has been sent to the Directorate of Horticulture in Bengaluru,” he said.

Manjunath Patkar, another grower, said that though the growers had started supplying some flowers to the buyers from April 13, it is clearly not enough. Ramakrishna Sharma, president of Udupi Mallige Belegarara Sangha, said that the growers will suffer big losses. “We will benefit only if the lockdown is lifted,” he said.

Meanwhile, the administration on Friday decided to allow flower shops to start functioning.

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