Here, they enjoy the fragrance of success

Come summer, local temple turns into a jasmine trading centre

The local Siva temple, otherwise calm during normal days, bustles with activity during summer. With farmers bringing jasmine buds from their fields, the temple turns into a market for them.

A week ago, on a single day, as much as 15 tonnes of jasmine was brought to the temple, and the farmers sold their produce to the tune of ₹ 19.50 lakh.

The hustle and bustle continues here till noon as the farmers get their produce weighed on electronic scales. The clerks enter the quantity in the registers and the workers, mostly teenagers, pour the jasmine into heaps on the floor. The workers don’t forget to dip the gunny bags filled with the jasmine in cold water before transporting to far off locations such as Hyderabad.

Huge market

According to information, nearly 80% of daily production is exported to Telangana and Maharashtra. There is demand for jasmine in places such as Bhadrachalam and Manuguru in Telangana. The rest is supplied to local markets, including Vijayawada and Bhimavaram. The price per kilogram is now ₹150-250.

The daily production touches 13 to 15 tonnes from villages like Pulluru Chandragudem, Booragudem, Mylavaram, Kothagudem, Seetarampuram, Daasallapuram, Kothamangapuram, Badava, Marusumilli and Chilukurivarigudem. It all depends on the availability of water and the temperature, says Seelam Subba Rao, a farmer.

The actual activity begins with the plucking of the buds well before dawn. In view of the hot climatic conditions, it is not possible for women to work beyond noon. The women pluck 10 kg per day with a single bush yielding between 250 grams and 450 grams.

“Men cannot do this work. We pluck buds of the right size. It is an art to pluck the right bud,” says Galla Venkayamma, a farmer.

The Pulluru Jasmine Flower Marketyard is run by Sri Veeranjaneya Rythula Sahakara Sangham. The produce is sold to flower merchants at the Gudimalkapur market.

“We formed a sangham to avoid middlemen,” says Dalla Sambasiva Rao, another farmer.

Token commission

The farmers pay ₹10 as commission to get their produce weighed, packed in gunny bags and exported. The amount thus collected is used for the upkeep of the market, pay wages of workers and transportation charges, says J. Srinivasa Rao, a clerk.

Nearly 1,000 acres of land has been brought under cultivation of the jasmine flower. Harvesting began in late February and likely to be over by early September.

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