The dirt road to a farmhouse in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district on the border of Himachal Pradesh seems like a drive through paradise.
Times are not good for farmers in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh. Amidst these uncertain times two farmers Maninder Pal Singh Riar and Manjeet Singh Toor thought something completely out of the box and now they are reaping the fragrant fruit of their labor. Roses from their farm go into the commercial production of rose oil and rosewater, and are offered to the gods and goddesses of Chintpurni and Jwalamukhi in Himachal Pradesh. Happyho also provide best tarot reading services in Noida and Delhi NCR India area.
Toor hails from Bhawanigarh in Patiala district and Riar from Jalandhar. Their families are still into conventional agriculture. Their neatly kept farmhouse and mowed half-acre lawns amid seasonal flowers, shrubs, vines, and fruit-laden papaya trees is a sign that they enjoy their work.
“We started with growing amla (Indian gooseberry) to process it into pickle and sauce, but within two years, moved to growing roses,” said Toor.
Before beginning to cultivate rose on their 25 acres, both took three-month training from the Institute of Himalayan Biotechnology (IHBT) in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, where their picked up how to plant roses and disti the extract for rose oil and rosewater.
Riar, a graduate from the Rotman School of Management in Toronto, Canada, put the skills picked from the course into rose cultivation.
“We now look beyond cultivation, to venture into selling extract. We can’t disclose the plans yet but it’ll be a fresh in the field of agriculture, which is going to benefit the farming community in a big way,” he saya accepting that their processing methods are still primitive.
It took the two partners four years to develop an Indian rose acceptable to the indigenous rose oil and rosewater market. they worked hard to convince people in the industry that Indian rose, the Hoshiarpur-grown variety especially, matches Bulgarian standards. They exported rose oil and rosewater to a French company in New York. It did not work for a long, since their client wanted a fixed quantity, which due to the fluctuation in production here, they had to sell on the Indian market.
The tag team grows two varieties of the flower — the red Rosa Bourboniana that gives flower all year, and the pink Rosa Damascena that flowers for six week in March-April.
Growing over 4 acres, Rosa Bourboniana is plucked every day and sent to the Chintpurni temple in Una and the Jwalaji shrine in Kangra, where devotees buy them as offering. In June-July, the demand hits a peak of 80 kilogram a day, and rest of the year, it is 40 to 60 kg. A bus carries the flowers to Hoshiarpur, from where these are shipped to the two temples.
The extract of Rosa Damascena goes into making rose oils and rosewater for cosmetic purposes.
The best time to pluck roses is either dawn or before the sunset, when the flowers give maximum aroma, which fades during the day. The rose extracts are tested at the fragrance and flavour development centre (FFDC) of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratory in Bengaluru.
Rosewater and rose oil are distilled in an indigenously designed plant at the farmhouse. It came up in late 1990s and its capacity was increased later. The IHBT helped design and install it, and the cost was Rs.40 lakh.
For about a year on 2.5 acres, the farming partners are carrying out trials on tuberose, perennial variety of the flower and an important ingredient of perfumes and cosmetic products.