Even 10 days ago, the price of the much sought after jasmine flower ranged from Rs 1,500 to Rs 1,800. The procurement price of jasmine flower in the wholesale market reflected not only its demand, but also the shrinking yield of the flower.
Intense cold weather coupled with intermittent rains over the last one week has bit jasmine flowering, S Ramachandran, merchant and president of wholesale flower market, Mattuthavani, Madurai, said on Sunday. The jasmine price would further shoot up as more weddings fall on December 7, 9 and 10.
Normally during the season from March to June, the Mattuthavani market would witness about 40 to 50 tonnes of jasmine flowers a day up for sale. But, in stark contrast, there’s a sharp decline in the landing of jasmine flowers to just one tonne on Sunday, he told DT Next.
Four years ago, jasmine price rose to an unprecedented high of Rs 7,000 a kilo during the Tamil month of ‘Karthigai.’
Totally, 104 shops at Mattuthavani market are dependent on jasmine cultivated in pockets of Tiruparankundram, Thirumangalam, Checkanurani, Chatrapatti, Eliarpathi, Parapatti, Solankuruni and Valayankulam.
Apart from jasmine, other flowers including ‘Pichi’ and ‘Mullai’ are also priced high at Rs 800 a kilo each against its normal value of Rs 200 to Rs 300.
Since the yield of jasmine was abundant last year, nearly 25 tonnes of the flower was moved to perfume factories in Nilakottai, Dindigul district. Despite having ‘GI’ tag status for ‘Madurai Malli’ –since 2011, the jasmine farmers could not benefit much from it.
To capitalise on the potential of ‘Madurai Malli,’ the state government should form an exclusive perfume factory in Madurai and also create a platform to airlift the fragrance rich flower to overseas countries as there are heavy demands from London, Singapore, Malaysia, Abu Dhabi, Canada, Mexico and New Jersey.