This Valentine’s Day, plenty of heartache for India’s rose cultivators

February 14
10:27 2018

Love may be in the air for the rest of the world as it celebrates Valentine’s Day on February 14. But for rose growers in Tamil Nadu, particularly those in Hosur, this Valentine season has been anything but rosy. The reason: People around the world seem to be jilting them and showering more love on their Kenyan counterparts. While Indian growers have seen their rose exports declining drastically amid stiff competition from Kenya, market prices in the existing markets have also fallen. And, these are happening at a time when the cultivation cost is rising, too. Earlier, Valentine’s Day on February 14 alone contributed 25-40 per cent of flower growers’ annual revenue. But not this time. Unlike 2017, which was drought year, flowers this year have been of a good quality, given good rains and climatic conditions. However, the different export markets this time have been affected by disparate reasons, say the growers in Hosur. Hosur and Bengaluru are hubs for flower cultivation in South India, while Pune and parts of Gujarat account for the bulk of cultivation in the northern parts. Of the country’s flower production, 25-35 per cent is accounted for by Hosur alone. In terms of production in South India, the town has a share of 75 per cent, according to Najeeb Ahmed, managing director of Tanflora Infrastructure Park, one of the largest exporters.

A joint venture between Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) and MNA & Associates, Tanflora has a capacity of producing 67.5 million of roses every year.