Production of the flower whose GI tag is valid till 2026 also goes up by 55.57% to 1,874 tonnes from 1,205 tonnes
Area under jasmine, which enjoys Geographical Indication tag, in Udupi district, which had shrunk by 19.83%, has gone up by 55.57% in the last one year.
Udupi Jasmine has a distinctive aroma and hence, is the most sought after flower for religious rituals, auspicious occasions and functions.
Deputy Director of the Department of Horticulture in Udupi Bhuvaneshwari told The Hindu that the area under jasmine jumped from 93 hectares in 2019-20 to 144.68 hectares in 2020-21. She said that 51.68 hectares additionally came under jasmine cultivation in the district in one year.
Production went up also by 55.57% from 1,205 tonnes to 1,874.62 tonnes. It was up by 669.62 tonnes in one year.
GI tag for jasmine is valid till 2026. The flower obtained the tag for the first time in May 2007.
The district has between 7,000 and 8,000 growers, she said.
Earlier, the area under jasmine in the district had shrunk by 23 hectares (19.83%) from 116 hectares in 2018-19 to 93 hectares in 2019-20. Production in 2018-19 stood at 863.55 tonnes.
Udupi District Jasmine Growers Association president Ramakrishna Sharma Banatkal said that the COVID-19 situation made many people hailing from Udupi and working elsewhere in unorganised sectors to quit their jobs and return to their native places. Many among them took up jasmine cultivation in their land as a short-term measure.
In addition, some people, who were working in different sectors being in Udupi district, faced job insecurity due to COVID-19 issues. Such persons also opted for jasmine cultivation.
Mr. Sharma said that the association estimates that there could be 10,000 jasmine growers in the district now. Jasmine plants begin yielding between one month and six months after planting.
Sources in the department said that the digital crop survey due to its accuracy factors might have also added to some extent in showing more area under jasmine in the last financial year. Earlier, the Horticulture and Agriculture departments were completely reliant on data supplied by village accountants in gram panchayats and the Department of Statistics. But the GPS-based digital survey has now added more accuracy to field surveys.
He said that growers get from a minimum of ₹60 to a maximum of ₹1,200 per “atte” of jasmine. An “atte” comprised four “chendus”. As many as 800 jasmine flowers go into the making of one “chendu” (a set of flowers tied by a string). The prices hover in this range depending on the supply-demand factors.
“The price for growers on Tuesday was ₹70 per an ‘atte’. Otherwise, during the usual days, we get ₹1,000 per ‘atte’,” Mr. Sharma said.