Agriculturesuccess storyWomen Empowerment

Rose was her right choice…!

Rose is an all season favorite flower, which can double the beauty of an event. In past, we used to import rose through main markets of the state like Bengaluru, Mangalore, Hubballi from other states. But, from four-five years, the quantity of rose which is being produced in the state is increased.

As part of this movement, Shri Kshethra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project recognizes the farmers, gives information and also provides financial aid for them. With the support of SKDRDP, a troupe of rose farmers has been formed in the state. In Shimogga, Bhadravati taluks, with the help of mobile flower markets, roses have been sent to other states. With this the farmers of the state have got market in all seasons.

The roses grown in the state is sold in Mangalore and Bengaluru, and also being sent to neighboring states like Maharashtra (Mumbai), Tamil Nadu (Chennai) and Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad). The number of families which depend on rose farming is increasing.
Premalatha M Hebbala, is one of the rose farmer from Marevada of Dharwad taluk. She couldn’t continue education after PUC. However, when the villagers started growing something even after the monsoon with the help of SKDRDP, Premalatha also thought of utilizing her 3 acres of land. She joined Shivashankara SHG and officials motivated her to start rose farming. But, rose was new for the region. However, she overcome the challenge and bought rose saplings like Rs. 12 for each from Hubballi.

June to August is the precious time for the plantation of rose saplings. Black soil (chernozem) is best for rose farming. Premalatha planted around 5,000 plants. Before planting, digging of soil is must to remove the clay part and watering had to be done. After a week, she planted the saplings and the gap should be 6 feet between the lines and 3 feets between the saplings. The sowing depth should be 2 ½ feets. Cow dung compost was added during the plantation.

With the help of organic compost, the life span of the rose sapling increases and chemicals increase the crop. With the help of borewell, Premalatha provides water to saplings once in every two days. In summer, she has to provide water for four to five hours. Interestingly, once in three months, she provides fertilizers also through pipe. Both organic and chemicals can be used.

Premalatha spends most of her time in the care of rose saplings. She used to cut flower buds in the beginning which helped in the healthy growth of the saplings. “In first three months, the crop was less and flowers were also small. I started sale of flowers after three months. The crop increasing in between June and October,” he said.

Harvesting or collection of roses from 5,000 plants starts in early morning. About eight labourers start the work at 6 am and finish it by 9 am. The transplantation should be started soon after one year. December, January months are best period to cut branches. If cutting is not done, there will be a negative impact on crop. The chances of bending and cutting of saplings is also more. Within one and half month of cutting, the sapling starts giving flowers. “I t around Rs. 2.3 lakh at the beginning and Rs.30,000 per month later. If one rose costs Rs. 1, the rose farming is beneficial,” says Premalatha.

She gets around 4,500 flowers from 5,000 plants every day. The flowers are transported to Dharwad market. According to demand each flower costs Rs. 40 paise to Rs. 2. The rose which is used in the preparation of garland has more demand in local markets.

“White spot disease is the major disease which can be seen during winter. The main symptom of the disease is white spots in the leaves. Soon we have to spray the chemicals and make sure that water is not at the bottom of the saplings. Drop irrigation is great for rose farming,” she said.

For rose buds, insecticides can be sprayed twice in a month. The rose crop is more during monsoon, but there will be more insects as well. The weed should be removed once in a month. The rose buds should be cut only after 6 pm in the evening. Watering should not be done in noon hours as it results in folding of leafs. If the leaves turn red, pesticides should be sprayed immediately.

She says that green insects will be there on rose buds during few seasons, but they don’t harm either the buds or the flower. Compared to other flowers, rose is a long-term crop.