Tamil Nadu exported the Geographical Indication(GI) tag certified Madurai Malli and other natural flowers like button rose, lily, chamanthi, and marigold to the United States of America(USA) and Dubai. The flowers were sourced from the three districts of Tamil Nadu i.e., Nilakottai, Dindigul, & Sathyamangalam, and registered by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority(APEDA), M/s. Vanguard Exports, Coimbatore.
Professors from the Floriculture Department of Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore, supported the exporters of this consignment in the adoption of their packaging technology in order to increase the shelf life of the flowers. The exporters contacted the farmers directly to cultivate the quality flowers. This consignment also helped in generating employment for 130 women workers and about 30 skilled workers. The export of flowers to the USA and Dubai would facilitate Indians to use fresh flowers while celebrating cultural and religious festivals.
During 2020-21, fresh jasmine and other traditional flower bouquets were exported to countries like the USA, UAE, Singapore and many other countries, which valued around Rs. 66.28 crores. Out of which, Tamil Nadu managed to export the traditional flowers worth Rs. 11.84 crores through the major airports of Chennai, Coimbatore, and Madurai. Jasmine flower is very famous in Madurai and around Tamil Nadu. Madurai has also evolved as the 'jasmine capital' of India in recent times.
Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the floriculture sector is also badly affected due to the restrictions on religious places, social gatherings, and celebrations. According to ICAR data, the floriculture sector was expanding only at a rate of 7% while the trade in the sector was rising at a rate of 10% per annum earlier. But now, as the religious places, social gatherings & celebrations, wholesale markets are restricted, the floriculture section has gone under losses. The loose flower sectors witnessed a total loss of Rs. 202.89 crores on wholesale prices and Rs. 335.62 crores on retail prices during the coronavirus lockdown since 2019. Even many farmers have the crops in the field as there is no labour, transport or demand.