A village that grows only flowers

Tanmoy Chakraborty

Tripura, known worldwide for its production of queen pineapple but the state is now gradually making a mark in the floriculture sector. Farmers of the state are choosing floriculture over paddy and vegetable cultivation.

The farmer of the state has come up as a potential floriculture hub which is not only giving good returns to farmers but is also generating employment for the people in the region.

Farmers engaged with the flower business say they see tremendous business opportunity in it. Over 250 farmers of Laxmibill village in Bishalghar sub-division of Sipahijala district Tripura, around 35 km from here, are actively involved in the production and marketing of flowers. 

Ramesh Chandra Debnath, a 72-year old who was then just 15 years old, shifted here in Tripura from the then East Pakistan with his parents along with other 50 families and settled down in remote village called as Nath Para in Laxmibil area of Sepahijala district, said that he started cultivating flower around 20 years ago and found more benefits in the flower cultivation.

 “We found that growing flowers is more beneficial than growing vegetables. Flower is a more profitable item. I am into floriculture for the last twenty years. We got the saplings and compost from the previous government and then we did it on our own. We are 6 persons in family.  Me and my son cultivate the flowers and we have 7 workers who helped us during the cultivating the flowers. We paid them Rs.300 daily and we earn yearly around Rs.2.50lakhs by cultivating flowers,” Debnath said.

Debnath said he cultivate different types of flower including marigold, tuberose, gladiolus, gerbera, anthodium, dahlia, aster and many other flowers.

“More than 200 families in this village are engaged with floriculture. Villagers are now cultivating different kinds of flowers and also experimenting with exotic varieties like Anthodium and orchids to earn good money because the whole villages is depend on the floriculture”, he said.

He also said most of the farmers used to grow vegetables but now they have switched over to floriculture because it is more profitable.

“We grow different type of flowers. Flower is more profitable and even a small garland cost more than Rs 10. Moreover, the risk factor in floriculture is also less. In floriculture even from a small piece of land one can get return of Rs.30, 000 in a month”, Debnath said.

Debnath have 2 acre land where he cultivate the flowers with his son.        

“When I started cultivating flowers around 20 years ago, I got free saplings and compost from the previous government which was free of cost and started cultivating in 6 Gonda land (5184 Square Feet). We sold the flowers in the market than we find it is very profitable and since then we started to cultivate flower regularly”, Debnath said to Tripura Chronicle, adding that during the festive and marriage season the prices shoot up further.

However, Debnath claimed that earlier they used to get help from the state government but now they are not getting any such help from the new governmnet like that.

“Higher officials from the state government visits sometime in our village to encourage us and they assured us that the government is with the farmers of the village and said that they will help us. But, we did not get any such help like earlier government used to do. If the new government help us it would be very helpful for us and so that we can export our flowers in other states of the country”, he claimed.

Rakesh Dey a 16 year old boy said that he feels very happy when he spent his time with flowers.

“It’s feels very good to cultivate the flowers. My family also cultivate flowers including Rose and Marigolds. We export them in Kolkata and Assam”, Dey said.

Assistant Director of Horticulture and Soil Conservation, Jiban Lal Saha said that Laxmibill is the only village in the state where the farmer cultivates flowers.

“This is the one and only village where the farmers only cultivate the flowers. The government on a regular basis organising training programmes on development of entrepreneurial skills among youths in the floriculture sector. Moreover, we organized several flower shows and exhibition on state level and Sub-division level to attract the youth toward floriculture and to encourage the flowers cultivators”, he said.