SAMBALPUR: TWO years back when Western Odisha saw many traditional paddy farmers ending their lives over crop failure, Soubhagya Nayak smelled an opportunity in rose farming. Today, he is making close to a lakh every month by selling roses that he grows in his two acres of land in Niktimal village in Sambalpur district.
Nayak, in his late 40s, has experimented with various kinds of crops at different points of time. He initially grew bananas on his one acre of land. However, in 2018, Nayak thought of trying out a new crop and bought another one acre of land to experiment with rose farming.
He invested Rs 10 lakh from his savings and took a loan of Rs 40 lakh. Within three months, Nayak began earning profit from the crop. “I started during winter when flowers bloom the most. I got a healthy produce of flowers in the beginning which sold well in local markets”, said Nayak who grows Florence, Frisco, Vivaldi, Tineke and Sonia varieties of roses that flower throughout the year.
Soon, he found a few wholesalers who were interested in buying roses from his farm. Considering the good demand, he bought another acre of land for expanding his rose farm and there has been no looking back since then.
On an average, Nayak gets around 60,000 roses from one acre every month and he sells them at Rs 3 to Rs 6 per piece depending on the quality, colour and size. Demand for his roses increases during wedding season and festivals. After covering all costs including electricity and labour, he makes a profit of Rs 80,000 to Rs 1 lakh every month.
He says in the last one year, his profit has never gone down below Rs 80,000 except during June, July and August as during these three months, the weather condition is not suitable for growth and flowering of rose plants. “If one is capable of making a heavy investment, then rose farming is a promising business”, he said.
Nayak, however, is yet to get Government subsidy for rose farming. A farmer gets 70 per cent subsidy for rose farming of which, 50 per cent is provided by National Horticulture Board and the remaining 20 per cent is a top-up subsidy given by State Horticulture Board. Although Nayak had applied for the subsidy to the National Horticulture Board a year back, he has not received it yet as a result of which, most of his earning goes back into repayment of loan.
After roses, Nayak wants to experiment with Gerbera. He also plans to use polyhouse technique for organic vegetable farming and will set up the polyhouse once he receives his pending subsidy from the Government.