Full bloomed lotus flowers in a field at Pullu in Thrissur. The buds are used to make garlands in temples. As temples are closed now, farmers are put in distress. Photo: J Philip
Thrissur: The full bloomed lotus field is a visual treat, but it gives only pain and tears for the farmers as not even a single flower can be sold during the coronavirus lockdown period.
The lotus flowers bloomed fully because there is no sale at all. Normally, the flowers are plucked and sold when they are buds. Festival seasons are the best time for sales, but COVID caused a heavy blow on the farmers this year as most of the temples were closed and festivals stopped.
Thrissur Chazhoor native Venugopalan cultivated lotus on 28-acre land. He used to sell upto 6000 flowers a day. One flower fetched Rs 3. Now not a single flower is plucked and sold.
Earlier, lotus flowers were sent from here to Pune and some other parts of Maharashtra, and also to shops in Guruvayur and Ernakulam. All these trades stopped after the disease outbreak. Venugopalan has been cultivating lotus for the past 15 years. Eight acres of land was taken for lease, said his helper Smithesh.
They also have paddy farming in 10 acres of land. Lotus is cultivated where paddy cannot be grown. There are many such farmers in Chazhoor and Pullu regions.