Holland flower varieties blooms and blossoms in Jambhale garden

Michael Fisher

Ten varieties of eye catching colourful flowers species of Holland, that may swoon a lover’s heart, are growing naturally in a 1040 sq m pollyhouse in Tisk Usgaon amidst the red ore from mining trucks.

When Mr Pramod Jambhale retired as head master of GVM Almedia High School Ponda and RPRS High School Bandora in April 2011, instead of showing signs of redundancy or chilling out, he immediately pursued his childhood dream of becoming a florist.

Encouraged by his family members, especially his brothers, he approached the Department of Agriculture (DoA), he credits them for molding his vision into reality. Agriculture director Mr Satish Tendulkar was instrumental in implementing the floriculture project in Mr Pramod’s ancestral land, at Tisk Usgaon.

He started the paper work on government formalities in October 2010. Mr Pramod along with three other farmers one of them Mr Pritam Patil were selected. Three bodies namely the National Horticulture Mission, the Department of Agriculture and an NGO Sesa Goa played a vital role in setting Goa’s first Pollyhouse projects.

While the government disbursed 50 per cent subsidies, the balance 50 per cent subsidies was borne by Sesa Goa on condition that Mr Pramod would have to give the government subsidies to Sesa Goa. A consultant was appointed and works on the Polly House commenced. The site location was finalised and the erection was entrusted to Royal Green House.

Understanding construction drawings and being able to visualise what the fabricated erection would look like from a plan is not something everyone can do, unless the person is a civil engineer, but with the undivided attention by Sesa Goa, Mr Pramod was able to visualise his pollyhouse would look like – well before erection commenced. He observes: the secret of our success was due to Sesa Goa.

During off school hours and holidays, Mr Pramod would established his craze for flowering in his garden, sometimes he was found talking to the flowers. It is proved true when gardeners sing and whistle to the flowers, it responds by `bloom and blossoming’. Prince Charles of England will vouch for this practical

Prior to the Polly house erection, land leveling of the red soil, cow dung, rice husk and basal dose of manure and fertilisers were mixed with the ground soil in order to maintain PH&E. After primary preparation of the soil, erection of the pollyhouse was undertaken.

The family team comprising five engineers, two daughters, one a post graduate working in the health department, and the younger Ms Rhicha an ME in computer science gave their full support to the project. The Polly house was constructed in May 2011 at a cost of Rs6 lakhs. This was totally handled by Sesa Goa.

Sesa took full control of setting up the project right from selecting the contractor, foundation, employing skilled workers for bed mattering, fumigation, and the application of basal dose. The company undertook the purchase of plants and saplings from the importer KF Bioplants, an Indo-Holland joint venture based in Pune.

The saplings of Gerabera, Gypophila mainly used as bouquet filler and others were planted on September 24, 2011. In the initial stages watering was done by metal containers. Three weeks later drip irrigation was installed. In December 3,000 flowers bloomed with smiles all around. On December 17 the first harvest was made. In January the pollyhouse produced 11,000 flowers of the 10 varieties and in February the production went up to 14,000 flowers. On an average 500 flowers are harvested daily.

Daily around 10,000 to 15,000 flowers are imported from other states to Goa, said Ms Rhicha Jambhale and the demand is growing. She suggest the agriculture department in Panaji sets up a information centre for marketing what the DoA promotes, in this way corporates and hotels can be in touch with us through them, and this will further strengthen our marketing efforts.

She further observes, "when you’re just getting started, it’s incredibly helpful to have someone with many years experience giving us tips and helping on effective marketing our business." However, Mr Pramod reiterates this is not my business it is the family business.