Flower prices take a beating

Visakhapatnam: The demonetisation drive has led to a dip in prices of non-essential products such as flowers. Some of the main flowers sold in the markets are marigold, cannon ball and different varieties of jasmine. While the price of jasmine touched an all-time low of Rs 20 per kilo from Rs 100 in just one week, marigold too suffered a similar fate with the price dropping to Rs 8 per kilo from Rs 25 in the local markets. Cannon ball flowers which are considered a rarity and sold fresh were almost unavailable.

Sources in Anandapuram wholesale market said for nearly five days from the day before Karthika Pournami (November 14), traders from Rajahmundry have been dumping on an average five tonne of leftover stock in the market daily at a throw away price as the local wholesalers are unwilling to buy them due to shortage of hard cash.

KV Nooka Raju, a wholesaler from Anandapuram, said no matter what the price given to the farmers was, the retailers who bargained hard with the local wholesalers managed to sell the marigold flowers in the city and other local markets such as Gajuwaka and Vizianagaram for a minimum price going up to Rs 560 a kilo. "Most of the wholesalers are unwilling to take the stock due to which the farmers from Rajahmundry are simply dumping the stock. The retailers are getting a good bargain in the process and ensuring that they can sell for a comfortable profit," he added.

Another wholesaler from Anakapalli K Ramam observed that the market for exotic flowers such as cannon ball did not do well. "Given the circumstances and the lack of proper and timely transport, selling these flowers has proved to be too much of a task for the traders. These flowers do not last for more than a day because of which they cannot not be sold in the market. Usually, each flower goes for Rs 20."

However, traders expect normalcy to return with the reduction in flower volumes with the stock from West Bengal ceasing to come from November 14 partly because of the currency clamp down and partly because the Karthika Masam has already come to a close in the northern part of India. They pointed out that farmers in Rajahmundry will also shift to other crops by the end of November due to which they will be a spike in demand for local flowers during the Ayyappa season and Sankranti.