Marketing of flowers in India
Flowers are very intimately associated with the social and religious activities in India. In social life, flowers are offered to welcome, to felicite and to greet friends or relatives and guests in functions. Flowers are needed in all the religious ceremonies functions including marriages. Garlands and wreaths are offered on dead bodies of martyars and very important persons (VIPs) and national heroes as a gratitude for the work done and sacrifice made by them. Flower is a taken of love and tenderness. They are wanted due to various attractive colours and fragrance. Flowers are also used for extracting essential oils, which are used in perfumes. Many flowers have medicinal values and hence are used in Ayurveda. In India, large number of flowers are grown in different parts according to soils and climate and also likings and preferences of the people for specific type of flowers. Important flowers are rose, marigold, chrysanthemum, jasmine, lily, tuberose, aster, zinia, carnation, gladiolus, galardia etc. Flowers are tender and hence highly perishable. They are generally used in fresh form but they have very short shelf life. This poses great problems in their marketing, particularly lone distance marketing. Therefore, flower cultivation is concentrated in the hinterland of big cities like Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Mysore, Chennai, Calcutta, Delhi etc. But with the development of quick transport vehicles and refrigerated or insulated vans, flowers are transported to distant markets including foreign markets. For successful marketing of flowers, well-developed markets and well-organised marketing system is necessary. In the marketing of flowers the aspects involved are
In Haryana, in the marketing of roses three channels were observed.
Channel I - Producer Commission agent - Retailer Consumer (in Delhi market)
Channel II - Producer- Retailer Consumer
Channel III - Producer - Consumer (Local market)
Since Delhi is a big market, 65% flowers were sold through Channel I and remaining 32% and 3% were sold through Channels II and Channels III. Thus the local market sale was only 3%. Marketing costs, margins and producers share in consumers rupee is given below for roses sold after making garlands-
Price spread of marketing roses in loose form
There was increase in value of roses when sod in the form of garlands as shown below: -
A. Price of roses sold in the form of garlands (Rs/Kg.) 2832.50
B. Price of roses sold in loose form (Rs/Kg.) 2005.00
Addition Rs/Kg. 827.50
Percentage (%) 41.27
Thus, there was increase in the value of roses by 41.27% when sold in the form of garlands. But the producers share was reduced from 73% to 52% indicating that the producer was not benefited by increase in value.
In Kerala, cultivation of orchids has now assumed commercial status. In the marketing of orchids, there existed two main agencies. (1) Local buyers and (2) Distant market florists, indicating two Channels.
Channel I - Producer Local buyer Consumer
Channel II - Producer - Wholesaler - Retailer Consumer
The cost of marketing worked out to Rs. 3.00 per spike. In this transport cost was the major (73%) followed by packing (27%), Marketing orchids in the distant markets was more remunerative with B.C. ratio of 2 than local (field) sale.
In the marketing of gladiolus as cut flowers in Karnataka, two channels were observed.
Channel I - Producer Wholesaler Retailer Consumer
Channel II - Producer Contractor Retailer Consumer
Channel I was more important with 84% produce passing through this channel than channel II with 16%produce passing through it. The comparison of returns from market sale and contract sale are shown below (Rs. Per 100 dozen)
This showed that it is more remunerative to sell flowers in the market where the forces of demand and supply are more clear and price determination is competitive and open or transparent.
In the marketing of Jasmine in Karnataka, following channel was observed.
Channel Producer Trader-cum-commission agent Retailer Consumer
The marketing cost was Rs. 6.61 per kg. Which was over 15% of the value of flowers sold by the farmers (Rs.44 per kg). Producers share was as low as 41%. The trader-cum-commission agent and retailers margins were 6.02% and 45.78% respectively. About 85% farmers opined that the commission charges were very high.
In the marketing of marigold following three channels were identified.
Channel I - Producer Commission agent Retailer Consumer
Channel II - Producer Retailer Consumer
Channel III - Producer Consumer
Nearly 99% flowers were sold through channels I and II. The flowers were sold in two ways (1) in loose form and (2) in the form of garlands. The garlands were prepared at the retailers level. When flowers were sold after making garlands, the producers share in the consumers rupee was 22.63% and 23.70% respectively in Channels I and II. These shares were quite high at 72% and 75% respectively in Channels I and II when flowers were sold in loose form. This was due to the fact that in the process of making garlands, the retailer incurred substantial cost in the form of skilled labour, which resulted into increase in the value of flowers, and hence he shared greater margin.
Consumer quality present survey for gladioli flowers showed that
In general, marketing of flowers is not well developed and well organised. There is no improved packing. Flowers like marigold are packed in gunny bags. Transport and commission charges (10-15%) are the main items of costs. Cold chain system of transport is not yet followed for flowers, which are sold in domestic markets. Therefore, long distant marketing (beyond 500 km) is not possible. However, floriculture is emerging as a commercial proposition in recent years due to export of some selected flower types and varieties. Production of export oriented flowers in green houses/poly houses is a recent technological adoption in India, which has given impetus to exports. But there is urgent need to improve packing system, quality of flowers (grading), quick and refrigerated transport and organisation with minimum intermediaries. Floriculture crops require intensive cultivation and have high income potential. Therefore, they generate good employment in rural area. An acre of land under flower cultivation can support a family of 5-6 members. It can fetch annual income of Rs. 30,000/- if much valued flowers like roses, carnations, gladiolus and orchids are grown.