Kochi: With Onam, the biggest festival in Kerala just a few days away, the prices of flowers have shot up to alarming levels and threaten to mar the celebrations. Floral carpet arrangements, pookkalams, which are part of the festival, might be smaller this season due to the huge hike in the price of flowers. Kerala sources a major chunk of its flower requirements from neighbouring states during festival seasons.
Pookkalams, with its colourful and often intricate floral patterns, are usually laid in front of houses for ten days during the Onam season. But now schools, colleges, offices and business establishments are also laying these floral carpets. This has put severe pressure on the market as there is shortage of flowers from other states. Vadamalli, Kanakambaram, Marigold, Jamanthi and Jasmine are much in demand and these flowers come from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, where they are commercially cultivated.
Jasmine which was about Rs.100 per kg a month back has touched Rs.400. Oleander which used to cost Rs.60 is now Rs.140 a kilo. Jendumally is being sold at Rs.80, Jamanthi for Rs.250 per kg, Rose at Rs.160 per kg and Vadamalli at Rs.100 per kg. The price of marigold, which was Rs.90 about two week back, has risen to Rs.150 per kg. The price of Kanakambaram has also increased to Rs.175 from Rs.75.
Huge demand in the market and the shortage of flowers from other states because of the Ganesh Pooja celebrations there too has contributed to the price rise. The marriage season is yet another reason for the skyrocketing prices.
Kerala Biz News