By Abdul hafiz lakhani Ahmedabad
Come to Ahmedabad and see the early morning of this city near Jamalpur bridge where hundres of flowerist line up various brands of flowers and sell. Among these merchants, there are number of Muslims who do brisk business in varieties of flowers.
Floriculture has emerged as one of the most sought-after business in the region and has grown nearly seven times in the last five years. It began with plantation of gerbera and Dutch roses in a two-acre green house in Kusad village near Navsari in 2004. It was in 2008-09 that commercial plantation of this two flowers came up in 40 acres of farm land.
Today, these two varieties of flowers are grown in more than 400 acres of land. Close to 1,50,000 Gerbera and 10,000 Dutch roses are sent daily to different parts of the country from the region.
Farmers who have opted for green house farming of these two flowers work on a bank loan but still an acre of Gerbera flowers plantation gives a return of at least Rs 6 lakh. The flowers sell at Rs 70-Rs 100 per bunch of 10 flowers in peak season like December-January and April- May.
The flowers are in huge demand in markets of Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal and some south Indian cities too.
Hitesh Patel, president, South Gujarat Flower Association told: “We have huge scope to increase our production and reach more places as demand is very high. However, the lack of air cargo facility from Surat and is hampering our sales.”
At present, 300 boxes of 500 flowers each are sent from Surat by train and road to other states daily.