Bull run for Shankarapura jasmine ends

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Bellevision Media Network

Mangalore, 10 October 2011: The Bull run this season for the famed fragrant Shankarapura Mallige or popularly known as Sooji Mallige’’ has ended. The rate of one ’atte’ of flowers, which had crossed Rs 820 a week back, has now fallen sharply to Rs 150 on Sunday. It was quoting at Rs 210 on Saturday.


The more fragrant but less fancied Jaaji mallige, also grown in Udupi region, was quoted at Rs 45 on Sunday and on Saturday it was Rs 65. It was at a high of Rs 350 last week. About 800 jasmine flowers, depending on their size, are strung together using plantain stalk to make one chendu and four chendus make one atte.


Udupi Mallige Belegaarara Sangha president Ramakrishna Sharma Bantakallu says that the rates fluctuate wildly on a day to day depending on the supply and demand of jasmine, which is a fancy item. There are merchants in Mumbai who buy Rs 5 lakh worth of flowers on a day as when there is high demand during festivities and marriage seasons,’’ he told. Apart from Mumbai, the coastal regions of Mangalore, Udupi and Kerala are the major markets for this flower.


There are about 10,000 families engaged in jasmine cultivation in the coastal districts extending from Kasargod to Uttara Kannada, with a maximum number of 7,500 families being in Udupi district. Sharma says the rates are likely to go up again during Deepavali and marriage season. The lowest rates an ’atte’ quotes is Rs 80 during off season and it sometimes goes down to as low as Rs 40 during transport strikes. A rate of Rs 200 per ’atte’ is remunerative,’’ observes Sharma.


The fancy rate for the fancied flowers depends upon the whims and fancies of the wholesale merchants based on the demand from customers and the supply. Fortunately in the case of jasmine growers, whatever the hike, barring a commission of Rs 10 or Rs 20 the entire sum is passed on to the growers unlike in other agro sectors where middle men make windfall profits. We get a daily rate from wholesalers and we give the maximum to the merchant who quotes the highest,’’ says Sharma.



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