Kundapur: Covid casts its shadow on a unique Hemmadi chrysanthemum

Silvestre D’Souza

Daijiworld Multimedia Network – Kundapur (SP)

Kundapur, January 15: Failing to gain support from departments or the government, Hemmadi’s once-famous chrysanthemum flowers here are now heading for total decimation. These flowers had earned a niche for themselves due to geographical advantages, climate, and the fact that it was a unique species. The flowers are just wilted, stripped of their traditional glory due to Covid restrictions over the past two years. They are now fighting for their survival as their cultivators face huge losses.

This flower blooms every year between January and March. The flowers bloom well when the climate is cool. The annual Marnakatte festival is a big market for chrysanthemum growers. Devotees of Lord Brahmalingrshwara of Marnakatte, according to tradition, offer a basket full of Hemmadi chrysanthemums to the deity.

Prashant from Hemmadi, who has been growing chrysanthemums for 16 years, says he has spent 1.75 lac rupees this season on labour, manure, pesticides, etc. However, he is now worried about selling the flowers due to the ban on festivals. He employs 30 workers every day to harvest the flowers. The farmers met with the local MP and asked him to allow the festivals with certain restrictions. Now they are waiting with their fingers crossed for the decision.

Will these unique flowers, which are still known for their beauty and fragrance, survive the corona scare? Only time can tell.

Chrysanthemum growers have their own association. Many are of the opinion that agricultural science centers should have conducted a detailed study of this flower species and communicated its importance and uniqueness to the public. If that had been done, the growers wouldn’t have been in the doldrums by now, they say.

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