An Economic Analysis of Jasmine Cultivation in Tamil Nadu
Kaviarasan, K1., D.R. Singh2, Prawin Arya3
1Assistant Director, Department of Consumer Affairs, GOI, Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi,
2Senior Scientist, Division of Agricultural Economics, IARI, New Delhi and
3Senior Scientist, Div. of Forecasting and Agricultural Systems Modelling, IASRI, New Delhi.


Horticulture, an important sector of Indian agriculture, produces more than total foodgrains in the country. The total production of horticulture was around 277 million tonnes (mt) in 2013-14. The domestic demand of horticultural products are also increaseing in the country (Sivaramane, et al. 2009) and export including flowers is also showing an increaseing trend. (Sudha, 2001 and APEDA, 2014). But, the efforts and investments should be targeted towards promotion of important dimensions governing sanitary and phyto-sanitary compliance along the supply chain for export (Aarti et al., 2012). Floriculture being a vital sub-sector of horticulture, have potential for providing enhanced returns to farmers and employment opportunities especially to small and marginal farmers and female labour (Kaviarasan et al., 2015). The flower crops require lots of manpower for picking flowers and perform other operations, hence providing opportunity to marginal and small farmers for generating more income, employment and promote greater involvement of women work force. Presently, India is the second largest producer of flowers after china. Tamil Nadu stands second in India in the area under flower cultivation (0.29 lakh ha) as well as production of loose flowers (3.13 lakh tonnes) in the year 2012-13. jasmine flower cultivation is very popular in Tamil Nadu and occupied more than two-fifths of the total flower area in the state. Although issues of some flower cultivation were studied (Guledagudda, 1996; Jyothi and Raju, 2003; and Sivaramane, et al. 2008), but the economics of jasmine cultivation and marketing and their constraints need urgent attention. Keeping in mind the importance of jasmine flower in Tamil Nadu, the study was undertaken to examine the economics of jasmine production and to identify the constraints to jasmine production and marketing.

Data and methodology

The study was based on primary and secondary data. Secondary data on area and production of flowers were collected from various published sources. The primary data on input costs, yields, returns and employment in jasmine flower cultivation was collected through personal interview of the 150 farmers selected randomly from three randomly selected blocks in Krishnagiri District of North-Western Zone of Tamil Nadu for the agricultural year 2008-09. Tabular analysis was employed to study the establishment costs on jasmine garden and costs and returns, marketing cost and employment potential in jasmine production. Establishment cost refers to pre-bearing costs incurred in the establishment and maintenance of jasmine garden up to economic harvesting stage. Land rent, land preparation, digging pits or trenching, planting material, manures and fertilizers, cost of plant protection chemicals, cost of labour were major costs in the establishment of garden. Profitability in jasmine cultivation were computed using various cost and return concepts. Hired labour wages, seed cost, manures and fertilizers cost, insecticides and pesticides cost, hired machinery charges, imputed value of owned machine power, depreciation on implements and farm buildings, irrigation charges, land revenue, interest on working capital , establishment cost in jasmine flower and marketing cost paid by farmers were included in Cost A1. Garrett's Ranking Technique was used to organize farmers' responses on constraints to jasmine flower cultivation and marketing.

Results and discussion

Area and production of flower in Tamil Nadu and India

The area and production of total flowers in India were increasing impressively over the years (Table 1 and 2). The increase in the average area was more than double during Triennium ending (TE) 2002-03 to TE 2012-13. The growth in production of flowers was also impressive in the country between TE 2002-03 and TE 2012-13. However,

Table 1 Flower's area in Tamil Nadu and major states of India

Average area (ha) in TE Share (%) in India in TE
1995-96 2002-03 2012-13 1995-96 2002-03 2012-13
Andhra Pradesh 5970 13136 40333 9.18 13.12 17.87
Tamil Nadu 13792 18493 31100 21.2 18.46 13.78
Karnataka 16858 19566 28733 25.91 19.54 12.73
West Bengal 12468 13618 23667 19.17 13.6 10.48
Maharashtra 3763 7250 19467 5.78 7.24 8.62
Others 12199 27873 82700 18.75 28.05 36.6
India 65050 100135 225767 100.00 100.00 100.00

Source: Indian Horticulture Database (Various issues)

Tamil Nadu state ranked second highest in the country in term of area under flower cultivation. The area under flower cultivation in Tamil Nadu had increased from 13792 hectares (ha) in TE 1995-96 to 18493 ha in TE 2002-03, which further increased to 31100 ha in TE 2012-13.

Table 2 Flower's production in Tamil Nadu and major states of India

Average production (loose flowers) (Tonnes) in TE share (%) in India in TE
1995-96 2002-03 2012-13 1995-96 2002-03 2012-13
Tamil Nadu 71439 142576 297693 25.92 26.56 20.24
Andhra Pradesh 17711 101723 249033 6.43 18.96 16.93
Karnataka 98318 142123 207633 35.67 26.48 14.12
Maharashtra 19033 33200 104700 6.91 6.19 7.12
West Bengal 8646 32004 62750 3.14 5.96 4.27
Others 60484 79961 554815 21.94 15.85 37.72
India 275630 (5371) 536652 (18096) 1470707 (73608) 100.00 100.00 100.00

Note: Figures in the parentheses are production of cut-flowers in lakh numbers.
Source: Indian Horticulture Database (Various issues) and

Regarding the loose flower production, the contribution of the state to the country was second (26%) during TE 1995-96 and first during TE 2002-03 (27%) and TE 2012-13 (20%). Even though, the share of state has decreased in TE 2012-13 on account of increase in flower economy in other states. This stresses the role of Tamil Nadu state in the flower economy of the country. However, there was stagnation in the productivity of the flowers in the state and only few districts had good and stable growth in the flowers area (Singh and Kaviarasan, 2010).

District-wise jasmine area in Tamil Nadu

The district-wise analysis of the area of 25610 ha under total flowers cultivation in Tamil Nadu in 2009-10 showed that Dindigul district had the highest area (14%) under flower followed by Krishnagiri (10%), Dharampuri (8%), Salem (8%), Vellore (7%), Maduari (6%), Thiruvannamalai (6%), and Thirunelveli (6%) districts (Table 3). Jasmine flower had highest (more than two-fifths of the total) area under flower cultivation in the state in 2009-10. The district-wise analysis of jasmine flower revealed that Thirunelveli district had the highest area (12%) in the state followed by Madurai (11%), Erode (10%), Thiruvallur (8%), Krishanagiri (7%), Dindigul (7%) and Salem, Thiruchirapalli and Vellore (5%) districts. There was a significant share of jasmine cultivation in major flower growing districts of the state. However, in some district jasmine is cultivated extensively. Thirunelveli district had 79% of total flower area under jasmine followed by Erode & Madurai (74%), Thiruvallur (71%), Thiruchirapalli(54%), Krishnagiri(30%) districts.

Table 3 Area under jasmine flower in major districts of Tamil Nadu in (2009-10)

Districts Total Flowers Jasmine area Share of Jasmine area in total flowers (%)
Area (ha) Share in total (%) Area (ha) Share in total (%)
Thirunelveli 1596 6.23 1267 11.93 79.39
Erode 1437 5.61 1061 9.99 73.83
Madurai 1658 6.47 1220 11.48 73.58
Thiruvallur 1134 4.43 800 7.53 70.55
Thiruchirapalli 927 3.62 503 4.74 54.26
Krishnagiri 2552 9.96 754 7.10 29.55
Salem 2097 8.19 576 5.42 27.47
Vellore 1878 7.33 492 4.63 26.20
Thiruvanamalai 1620 6.33 391 3.68 24.14
Combatore 781 3.05 158 1.49 20.23
Dindigul 3499 13.66 703 6.62 20.09
Dharmapuri 2133 8.33 400 3.77 18.75
State 25610 100 10623 100 41.48

Source: Season and crop report, Tamil Nadu (Various issues)

Establishment and input costs of jasmine cultivation

The average cost of establishing one hectare of jasmine garden was around Rs. 104271 per ha in 2008-09 (Table 4). The material cost component accounts for the major share of the total establishment cost. Among the material cost, the planting material formed the single major (30%) in the total cost. The weeding operation requires more labour, because in the initial year of establishment of garden requires frequent weeding. Therefore, the labour cost was also high (28%) in the total cost of establishment of jasmine farms. Irrigation was also found to be a costly input especially for small and marginal farmers because they were using diesel operated tubewells. Singh and Singh, 2006 found that cost of irrigation was low for water buyer for small and marginal farmers in Western Uttar Pradesh. Therefore, the development of groundwater markets in the region may be a good option for reducing the cost of irrigation for flower cultivation.

Table 4. Establishment and input costs in jasmine cultivation

Items Establishment cost Input costs in cultivation
Cost (Rs/ha) Share in total (%) Cost (Rs/ha) Share in total (%)
Family labour 14973 14.4 46200 18.4
Hired labour 13900 13.3 44425 17.7
Machine labor 5505 5.3 - -
Planting material 30936 29.7 - -
Irrigation 7544 7.2 8864 3.5
FYM 10277 9.9 5300 2.1
Fertilizer 12801 12.3 16026 6.4
Plant protection chemical 8335 8.0 9474 3.8
Amortized establishment cost - - 15161 6.1
Marketing cost - - 98245 39.2
Other costs - - 6838 2.7
Total 104271 100 250533 100

Source: Primary survey, 2008-09

The input cost of cultivation of jasmine was found to be Rs. 250533 per ha in 2008-09. Among various items, the marketing cost (Rs. 98245) constituted the major item of the total operational cost. Other major components of Cost were family and hired labour (Rs. 90625), manures and fertilizers (Rs. 21325) plant protection chemicals (Rs. 9474), irrigation charges (Rs. 8864) and amortized establishment cost (Rs. 15161).

Marketing cost of jasmine flower

In the marketing of flowers, the farmers are mainly routed through the commission agents in the Bangalore market. In case of jasmine flower, the farmers organize themselves as a small group and send the flower to the market through the common vehicle. They share the marketing cost based on their quantity of the flower marketed. However, there is not good cooperation among the farmers. The lack of unity, cooperation and interest among water users has also been found to be the most limiting factor for the active participation in the water user associations in Tamil Nadu (Arun et al., 2012). The payment is made to the farmer once in fifteen days. The marketing of jasmine flowers shares major cost to flower production and was Rs 98246 per ha and Rs 2014 per quintal. The fee for commission agents constituted major share (52%) in total marketing cost followed by transport (17%), loading & unloading (17%), spoilage (10%) and packing (5%).

Returns from jasmine cultivation

Total cost of cultivation (Cost C3) of jasmine was worked out to be Rs. 319805 per ha for all farms in 2008-09 (Table 5). Flower productivity was 48 qtl per ha and resulted gross returns was Rs 419699 per ha. The cost of production of flower was Rs. 6557 per quintal. The average farm business income was found to be Rs. 215366 per ha ranging from Rs.184277 for marginal farms to Rs. 225222 for other farms. The average net return over cost C3 was Rs. 99894 per ha. Further, farmers fetched average net return of Rs. 2048 from selling one quintal of jasmine flower.

Table 5 Costs of and returns from jasmine cultivation

Cost items Rs. per ha Return items Rs. per ha
Cost A1 204333 Productivity (qtl per ha) 48.77
Cost B2 244532 Gross income 419699
Cost C1 263182 Farm business income 215366
Cost C2 290732 Family labour income 175167
Cost C3 (total cost of cultivation) 319805 Net income 99894
Cost of production (Rs per qtl) 6557 Net returns (Rs. per qtl) 2048

Source: Primary survey, 2008-09

Employment potential in jasmine cultivation

Jasmine cultivation provided good employment opportunity of 1387 days per ha throughout the year (Table 6). Further, the female worker had a lion share (90 per cent) in the total employment generated in jasmine cultivation. There was a little opportunity for male hired labour in the jasmine cultivation as most of the hired work was offered to the female workers. This may be mainly due to comparatively very low wage rate (half of the male workers) of the female labour and partly due to most of the cultural practices in jasmine cultivation are performed by the female workers. Decomposition of the total employment into the family and hired labour showed that the share of family labour was 48 per cent and hired labour was 52 per cent in total employment. This was mainly due to small size of holdings and easy availability of female labour for jasmine cultivation.

Table 6. Employment potential in jasmine cultivation

Particulars Family labour Hired labour Days per Ha-Total labour
No. Share (%) No. Share (%) No. Share (%)
Male 106 79.7 27 20.3 133 100
Female 557 44.8 687 55.2 1244 100
Total labour 664 48.2 714 51.8 1378 100

Constraints to jasmine cultivation

The non-availability of labour was ranked first by the large farmers and second by small and marginal farmers. Non-availability of credit was ranked first by small and marginal farmers. Jasmine crop is perennial in nature and require labour almost throughout the year. The harvesting of the flowers requires labour almost every day and requires labour services only two to three hours per day in the early morning. This makes the non-availability of full day employment and labour should find employment from the other sources after harvesting of flowers. Mostly women and children were required for harvesting and women's were having the family services, makes difficulty for them to go for harvesting of flowers. For large category farmers this was the main constraint as the family contribution was less compared to marginal and small category. The adverse climate was ranked third by the most of farmers. Because the flower bud development and opening was problem in the winter season and yields less flower. The other important constraints ranked by the farmers were high establishment cost, incidence of pest and disease, high fertilizer required, and lack awareness about varieties available.

Constraints to jasmine marketing

The marketing of jasmine flower has the special type and have the highly perishable in nature needs the quick marketing. Price fluctuation was reported to be the main marketing constraint by all categories of farmers. The price of jasmine was fluctuating day to day and even hour to hour. This makes the high risk in marketing. The high commission charge was ranked second by all categories of farmers. The farmers were not directly sold to consumer and they highly depend on the commission agents cum wholesalers. Even some farmers get advance money from the commission agents. So, the farmers were forced to sell them and they charge high percentage of commission. The malpractice by the traders was ranked third by the small farmers and trader's collusion was third by the marginal farmers. The flowers are high value crops and farmers are cheated by the traders in many ways as in price and the quantity. From this malpractice the traders are earning the high profit. Other major constraints were reported by farmers were high charges of transportation, spoilage, lack of grading and storage facilities.

Summary and conclusions

There was an impressive increase in jasmine cultivation in major jasmine growing districts in Tamil Nadu. The cultivation of jasmine flower generated impressive returns to the farmers and good employment opportunities for farm family as well as agricultural labourers especially for female workers. There is no effective value chain in the jasmine production and farmers have faced many constraints in the cultivation and marketing of jasmine flower. The non-availability of labour, non-availability of credit, adverse climate, high establishment cost, incidence of pest and disease, high fertilizer requirement, and lack of awareness about varieties available were major constraints ranked by the farmers in jasmine cultivation. Further, in the marketing of jasmine flower, price fluctuation, high commission charge, malpractice by the traders and trader's collusion, high transportation cost, spoilage, lack of grading and storage facilities were the major constraints faced by the jasmine farmers. The livelihood of jasmine farmers and farm labour could be improved by enhancing cooperation among the farmers, minimizing production and marketing constraints to farmers and developing efficient and effective value chain in jasmine production system.


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