Palamuru Farmer Makes Money with Gerbera Flowers, Shekhar Reddy of Urkondapet village in Midjil mandal in Mahabubnagar district set new trends in farming and came out with flying colours.
Shekhar Reddy has been cultivating cotton, paddy, red gram, maize and others in his 15 acres and more often than not had been incurring heavy losses due to unfavourable weather conditions.
Palamuru Farmer Makes Money with Gerbera Flowers
Learning about gerbera flower cultivation, he ventured into the new line though it is very expensive and sort of adventurous. As an alternative crop, he chose gerbera flower cultivation. He constructed a poly house in two acres at a cost of Rs one crore with 50 per cent subsidy borne by the Horticulture department.
He dumped one thousand tractor loads of red earth mixed with manure in the poly house. He purchased 44,000 saplings in eight varieties each at a cost of Rs 38. He built a concrete tank with a capacity of 40,000 litres and arranged sprinklers to provide water to the saplings. Every day he sprinkles water for ten minutes.
Since it is not labour intensive, he started reaping the benefits after three months. There is great demand for gerbera flowers generally and during the season of marriages and functions, the demand goes up. Depending upon the demand, each flower is sold anywhere between Rs 3 and 10.
Shekhar Reddy said that he transports flowers to Gudimalkapur market in Hyderabad. Referring to the income, he says, “It depends upon the demand. Sometimes it will be Rs 2 lakh pa month and at times it will be Rs 4 lakh.”
The one-time investment on poly house would be useful for at least 25 years and vegetables could also be cultivated in these houses, he says. He suggests to the farmers to go for alternative crops instead of committing suicide.