Begin typing your search...
Flower trade wilts as demand falls drastically
With only 10 per cent of shops allowed to open and only a handful of customers coming to purchase, the ongoing complete lockdown has hit the floriculturists and flower traders hard.
About half of the traders and vendors have returned to their hometowns due to lockdown, said S Mookaiyan, secretary of Koyambedu Flower Merchants’ Association. “We are struggling to survive without proper work and income. Only 10 per cent of shops are open in the market and we get less than 50 customers a day. At the end of each day, we dump about five to six tonnes of flowers,” Mookaiyan said.
Even worse is the situation of daily wage workers who are dependent on the business. Many of them are not yet able to repay the loans taken last year during lockdown, and it is getting only worse this year leading to ballooning of debts.
“We are dependent on this income, and are now struggling to survive. For the last two months, the flower business has come down due to the pandemic. Being forced to borrow money to buy groceries for home, we had to return to our hometowns,” said Krishnan P, a worker.
“Farmers are the most affected due to this. They have spent a huge amount of money in the last one year, but they won’t get any profit,” added Mookaiyan. Floriculturists have to continue investing to maintain the plants though there is no certainty that they would make any profit or even breakeven. What is worse, a large quantity of flowers are being dumped due to lack of business.
“I have to spend at least Rs 2 lakh for maintenance per month, which I am borrowing. If I don’t harvest within a few days or weeks, all the money that I invested will be lost. All the workers who are dependent on this are being affected by the lockdown,” said L Elappan, a farmer from Tiruvallur who used to supply 20 tonnes of flowers per day to various states and districts.