KORAPUT: A Koraput-based couple is cultivating success with floriculture. What started as a hobby seven years back, has today translated into a profitable business model for them. Meet Lakshmi Soren and her husband Babul Singh, who are not just growing saplings of different varieties of ornamental flowers and plants, but have also started a trend of gifting plants on special occasions in the town.
Lakshmi started her small flower business in 2009 and her husband joined the venture a few months later when he suffered loss from his iron fabrication business venture.
Initially, she invested `1,000 to buy flower seeds for setting up a garden in her house. In six months, she earned `5,000 from selling the flowers and the money was pumped in for growing saplings of flowers and vegetable plants.
After Singh suffered loss in his iron fabrication business, Lakshmi urged him to join her in developing a nursery in their with over 0.2 acres of land. Besides flowers, the couple grew saplings of good variety of mango, jack fruit, guava, litchi and some herbal plants.
A year later, Singh underwent training in plant grafting in Kolkata for a week. While he invested just `5 in grafting a plant, he sold them in the nursery at `70 per piece.
Simultaneously, the couple raised saplings of flower plants like Petonia, Panji, Rose, Dahlia, Salvia, Dianthus, Vervina, Inca II Marigolds and Carnations.
"Each flower sapling is sold at `30 in our nursery, while the investment in growing them is `four," said Lakshmi, who is currently developing a bigger nursery at Dumriguda on 2.5 acres of land.
Apparently, Lakhsmi has not undergone any training in floriculture or horticulture. She said the weather and soil of Koraput is favourable for growing any kinds of plants.
Annually, the couple invests `30,000 for raising saplings of flowers and vegetables and get a profit of at least `five lakh.
The couple is also famous for gifting plant saplings at social gatherings in Koraput town. They urge people to gift plant saplings during birthdays and weddings.