Monday, September 30, 2013

Madurai Malli - Seedlings Are Grown from Thangachimadam

Island of Jasmine

Temple City(Madurai) Is Famed For Its Jasmine 'Maduai Malli', But The Seedlings Are Grown for Thangachimadam Near Rameswaram And Transported Across South.

Jasmine is almost synonymous withthetemplecity of Madurai but the famed Madurai malli has its origins in the littleknown village of Thangachimadam on Rameswaram island.

Jasmine nurseries abound in this coastal hamlet although fishing is the predominant activity.Around 300 farmers cultivate the exotic jasmine variety that is known for its unique fragrance.Small nurseries cover at least 150 acres in the village.

Though Madurai malli plants are raised inland too,the ones grown here have a high yield.So farmers prefer buying from us, said V Balraj,a farmer from Thangachimadam.
"Every year,farmers send two crore jasmine seedlings across south India with buyerscoming from asfar asHubliin Karnataka,places in Andhra Pradesh and from all over Tamil Nadu.
Every nursery has a small plantation where mother plants are maintained.From these plants,new seedlings are createdusing the groundlayering system.The seedlings are transferred to a special nursery covered with thatched roof to shield the delicate plants from direct sunlight.Theseedlings arekeptherefor 40days.The thatched covers are then removed and the seedlings are exposed to direct sunlight for 90 days,after which they are sold.The sandy soil in the region helps the seedlings grow faster and the unique climate and soil are responsible for the fragrance and beauty of the flowers,the farmers said."

Unlike other jasmine varieties,Madurai malli has nine to 12 buds,giving more flowers.The yield is very consistent from the seedlings raised in Thangachimadam, said Balraj.

V Muthumari,another farmer,said there was no assistance from the horticulture department and the power crisis had affected watering the seedlings.We are not entitled to any schemes and we are struggling to water the tender plants because of the regular power cuts, he said.
Senior officials from the horticulture department said there were some problems in providing assistance to the farmers.There are no schemes for layering of plants,which is predominant in these nurseries, the official said,adding that the district administration had sent out a proposal to construct green houses for seedlings.

Though the plants they raise have received international recognition,the farmers say neither they nor their village are known. Many people do not know that the motherland of this jasmine is Rameswaram island, said Muthumari.

Superior fragrance due to the red soil,where nutrients are found in balanced proportions
Thick petals,equal length of the stalk and the flower makes it ideal for making garlands
Pure white colour. Can be preserved for two days without discolourationa.

EXPORTED TO : Sri Lanka,Singapore,Malaysia and Middle Eastern countries.

Credit: Times Of India.

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