| Singh’s under-construction polyhouse at Bara village. Telegraph picture |
A nondescript village around 25km south of Patna is on its way to become popular with flowers on show.
Bara village in Patna’s Masaurhi block is set to be the first place in Bihar where Dutch roses would be grown on a commercial basis. Satyendra Singh (50) has taken up the first-of-its-kind project to grow the roses that are mostly used for decoration. Assisting Singh in his goal is the state government that is providing good subsidy on the saplings and polyhouse where the flowers would blossom.
Singh plans to cultivate the Dutch roses on an acre and would construct a polyhouse as the roses need moisture and a cool environment to blossom properly. Humidity and heat can be controlled in a polyhouse, a semi-circular or square structure made of polythene that heats up by absorbing solar rays. Nitesh Rai, the district horticulture officer, said around Rs 37 lakh goes into the construction of a polyhouse on an acre and the government would provide 90 per cent subsidy on that and another 50 per cent on the saplings.
Rai said: “One needs to spend something around Rs 37 lakh to set up a polyhouse on an acre and as many as 16,000 saplings can be planted. It takes another Rs 20 lakh or so. Of that, we are providing Rs 47 lakh to the farmer as subsidy.”
He added that a polyhouse brings down the temperature to 40°C during the summer and take it up to 10-12°C from 5 degrees Celsius in the winter.
Singh will start the cultivation of Dutch roses in his polyhouse next month and the flowers would be ready for the markets in two months. He is sourcing the saplings from New Delhi. Unlike other roses, Dutch roses have long stems of about 10-12 inches, big buds, are semi-bloomed and have a longer vase life.
At present, Dutch roses are brought to Patna from Calcutta, New Delhi and Pune.
Singh said: “My polyhouse will be ready by end-March and I will start cultivating the Dutch roses. They take two months to bloom. So the flowers would be ready for the markets in May. I am very excited about this project. Patna has a good market for Dutch roses. At present, the wholesellers bring these flowers from outside Bihar. However, it is obvious that people would prefer to buy locally grown flowers. I would not be in loss at any moment because of the demand for Dutch roses.”
While a single Dutch rose costs Rs 10 in the market, during Valentine’s Day or marriage seasons, the rate goes up to touch Rs 25.