It’s Valentine’s Day today and most Valentines around the globe will say ‘I love you’ to their sweethearts with red roses from India. India shipped over 100 million stems of red roses to key Valentine’s Day markets across UK, West Asia, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Russia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Holland, Germany, Spain, China and Netherlands.
The International Flower Auction Bangalore (IFAB) witnessed a flurry of activities in the last few days in preparation of huge Valentine’s Day shipments.
More than half of these 100 million roses are grown in Bangalore and Pune, while the rest are cultivated in Ethiopia and Kenya by Karuturi Global, world’s single largest producer of cut roses, based in Bangalore.Bangalore and Pune are the lead players in India’s cut flower industry, which is pegged at over Rs 1,000 crore.
The cut flower markets are centred around events like Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, International Women’s Day and UK Mother’s Day.
European Mother’s Day and French Mother’s Day are two other events. The Indian diaspora too buys a lot of cut roses during Diwali, Dushera, Ganesh Chathurthi and also during fat Indian weddings held overseas. This year Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday, Chinese New Year is celebrated from February 16-22, to be quickly followed by International Women’s Day on February 28th and British Mothers’ Day on March 8.
“Events are happening back to back in the international markets. Indian red roses are a must in these celebrations. Overall it is a red-hot season for rose growers in India,’’ says Ram Karuturi, president, South India Floriculture Association (SIFA).
In this season, stem prices went up by 150 per cent, peaking at `16 in wholesale markets, from an earlier average of Rs 5 to Rs 7. In the global markets, a stem of red rose fetches anything between Rs 25 and Rs 30. Sometimes prices could even go up to 200 to 300 per cent, depending on the demand-supply situation. Cut roses remain fresh in the wrap for a fortnight. On an average, Indian rose growers earn a minimum of Rs 10 lakh per acre. Most roses grown in Bangalore are auctioned at IFAB in line with such auction in Holland and Japan to ensure better price discovery.