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Rain or shine, this Kerala farmer’s polyhouse is blooming with flowers for Onam

Aneesh N Raj at his polyhouse farm in Anchal, Kollam. Image Credit: Special Arrangement

Polyhouse farming for flowers!! Yes, this innovative farmer in Kerala is cultivating flowers at his polyhouse farm to meet the demand for different varieties of flowers during the Onam festivities. Aneesh N Raj, a resident of Anchal in Kollam, has already cultivated around 10kg of marigold at his poly-house greenhouse farm and is reaping success.

Aneesh started his journey as an hi-tech farmer after quitting his high paying corporate job 13 years back. Since then, he has been spearheading a campaign sensitising people on the benefits of modernising farming techniques. After putting in years of research and doing experiments, he is now totally into polyhouse farming which according to him is the most innovative farming method to get better yield. “After analyzing the polyhouse approach, I established a hi-tech vegetable farm on 10 cents of land. Today, this farm’s half area grows vegetables like salad cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and leafy greens,” said Aneesh, who supplies fresh vegetables from his farm to a select few clients.

The idea to grow flowers in a polyhouse farm struck him when he realised the huge demand for flowers like marigold during the Onam season. “This year, I finally decided to give it a try. I sowed over 500 African marigold seedlings in May inside a 408-square meter polyhouse and it gave me a big yield,” he said.

While heavy rains damaged the flowers in the fields of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka which are traditional suppliers of the flowers, Aneesh’s polyhouse gave him a good harvest. “Before 10 AM daily, we pluck the flowers and supply them to shops and temples. The orange variant is highly popular, selling at Rs 90-100 per kg,” he added.

Aneesh has planted 500 more seedlings in two 100-square meter polyhouses, specifically targeting the demand for flowers during the Onam. The award-winning hi-tech farmer also assists others in establishing polyhouse farms. Now he aims to grow flowers like jasmine and rose at his polyhouse farm.

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