A rose is a rose is a...Taj Mahal
Let a hundred Taj Mahals bloom! Yes indeed - the Taj Mahal in question is a new variety of deep red rose and it is wowing the world.
The floral wonder with a one-metre-long stem and six-cm head has been created in Amudagondapalli, a tiny village in south India.
It has been bred by Dutch company Morheim Roses exclusively for Tanflora, which is India's first floriculture cooperative farm located in Amudagondapalli near Hosur in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu.
"The new breed of roses which we have registered as Taj Mahal will certainly dominate the world of roses in the days to come," Najeeb Ahmed, the managing director of Tanflora, told IANS.
However, for Valentine's Day that fell on Thursday this year, Tanflora test-marketed a few thousands of the Taj Mahal variety of roses. Tanflora is a Tamil Nadu government joint venture.
The global floriculture market's response to Taj Mahal "is tremendous", says Ahmed.
For instance, a big importer from Sydney in Australia said: "Taj Mahal is simply beautiful and will rule the rose market for the next few years."
Rose importers from Dubai, which is emerging as a big floriculture hub, have already placed orders for half a million of these roses for the next Valentine's. In fact, the Gulf countries want "only Taj Mahal" for next year.
With orders gushing in from across the world, especially European countries, Tanflora has decided to grow 7.5 million Taj Mahals on five hectares of its 22-hectare farm land.
"At least 10 per cent of our produce will be Taj Mahals," says Najeeb.
According to a senior Tamil Nadu government official, the Dutch breeders would visit Amudagondapalli, which is less than 50 km from Bangalore, to discuss large-scale cultivation of Taj Mahals.
With Taj Mahal creating a flutter in the rose industry, Tanflora has decided to peg the exotic variety at a premium rate - at least one euro each as against Rs. 10 or Rs. 20 for an ordinary piece of cut rose.
For this Valentine's, Tanflora exported as many as 2.5 million roses to various countries, making up one-fifth of India's total rose exports. According to the Agriculture and Processed Food Export Development Authority, India's share of the global export market is just about one per cent. But south India's Taj Mahal is not just another rose.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- The finance department has written to the top brass of various departments, offices and administration to ensure strict compliance to the finance and treasury rules for maintaining fiscal discipline.
- In a letter to Puri king Gajapati Dibya Singha Deb, Union minister for petroleum and natural gas, Dharmendra Pradhan urged him to launch a mass fund collection drive to enable contribution by crores of devotees of Lord Jagannath for the development of the Jagannath Temple heritage corridor.
- Cryptocurrency is, however, not legally banned and the government is in the process of enacting a law on this matter.
- The PM asked the three services to rid themselves of legacy systems and practices that are no longer relevant.
- According to the police, some young men were dancing at the DJ night in a wedding ceremony, during which one of the accused pointed the pistol at the forehead of another youth.
- In January this year, Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde ruled out any reopening of courts for the present.