Breaking seasonality barrier in Jasminum sambac through mechanical flower forcing
Jasmine is a commercially cultivated fragrant flower grown throughout the country over an area of about 12,000 ha with an annual production of Rs.20 crores worth of flowers. Fresh flowers are marketed locally and exported and contributes substantially to the national economy. Jasminum sambac has its peak flowering in the months of March to June and continues to flower till October. The lean period is during November to February, during which flower production is drastically reduced and flowers are of poor quality. The market price of flowers varies from Rs.25-100 per kg during the peak flowering seasons whereas during the winter months it ranges between Rs.800-1200 per kg.
- The existing practice is to prune the plants during the last week of November and hence during the winter months there is no flowering at all.
- Advancing pruning to September resulted in flowering during the lean season i.e. the winter months (November to February) with higher yield and quality as against the conventional practice of pruning during the end of November.
- It was observed that the September pruning resulted in 2.67 times higher average yield during the winter season compared to November pruning. The peak season yield was not affected by advancing the pruning time.
- This technology resulted in a BC ratio of 2.51 as against 1.66 in the conventional practice.
- Flower production by mechanical flower forcing through pruning during the lean season will increase the profitability for the farmers.