Jamshedpur : As lovers eagerly await to greet their Valentines on February 14, there’s some not-so-pleasing news for them. Roses, one of the essential gifts on Valentine’s Day, will be costlier by at least 30 per cent compared with the previous year. As Valentine’s Day falls on Friday, the demand for roses is expected to be high.
According to information a single long-stemmed rose is selling for Rs 30 and a bunch of roses costing anything between Rs 200 and Rs 1,000.
“The supply of roses in the city is primarily from West Bengal and Bihar. The prices depend on the supply. Though the supply is normal this year but due to rise is demand owing to the Valentine’s Day celebrations the rates have shot up suddenly. We are witnessing sharp rise in the sale theses days,” noted Salim Javed, a flower trader in Bistupur. He added that a special red rose of double the size and stem thickness is specially ordered from New Delhi.
“The rise in demand from suburban towns, apart from major cities, has spurred the prices of roses this Valentine. Price of export quality cut rose is likely to quadruple from its current price of about Rs.15 to over Rs.60 per stem,” said he noted.
“Majority of flower growers are anticipating around 30 percent rise in revenue during February, with a turnover of about Rs.10 crore,” it added.
There is also a surge in demand for Indian roses in international markets of Australia, Germany, Greece, Italy and New Zealand, among other countries.
However, many rose cultivators said that crude handling of cut flowers during transportation leads to poor realisation for Indian roses in the international markets.
“The rose growers are experimenting with a new way to increase the shelf life of the flower – India is the largest grower of roses – by growing genetically modified versions,” said the study.
About 40 crore cut roses are grown across India every year. Karnataka alone accounts for about 75 percent, followed by Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and West Bengal.
Roses of unconventional colours including black and blue, are available at select florists.
“We keep select colours including yellow, pink, white, red and orange since they are the most preferred. But pink and red are the most sought after around Valentine’s Day,” cited Prakash, who works with a florist. He described how students, who are visiting their shop, ensure that the rose sticks bought by them are wrapped to perfection to gift to their loved ones!
To add to that is the wedding season, where people demand the freshest of blooms for decorations, welcoming of guests and various ceremonies. Roses, tuberoses and orchids — the favoured trio for weddings — are so scarce now that florists have no choice but to advise their customers to use artificial floral arrangements instead.