‘Where there is a will, there is a way’, this popular saying has been proven true by two sisters from the remote village of Sal in Bicholim. Advocate Sonia Shablo Raut and her sister Sneha Raut have cultivated high-quality marigolds on their ancestral land in Sal through organic farming. This undertaking has brought Sonia satisfaction and a sense of achievement after receiving positive feedback from those around her.
Hindu mythology tells us that the marigold flower is associated with the sun and is considered to be auspicious, releasing positive energy during significant Hindu festivals. These flowers are mostly offered to Vishnu and Laxmi, and so the demand for marigolds multiplies during the festivities of Dussehra, Holi and Diwali.
Maharashtra and Karnataka are major suppliers of marigold flowers to Goa. Taking this factor into account, Sonia and Sneha decided to toil on their ancestral land which they inherited from their father Vinayak Raut. Sonia, who is practices law in Mapusa and is also a fitness enthusiast along with her sister, started cultivating marigold flowers on their 1000 square metre land in 2021.
In the beginning, people did not take the sisters seriously. However, when the plants bloomed with vibrant marigold flowers, everyone was awestruck. Last year, 1000 seedlings of marigold were sown and 300 kg of yield was cultivated during the first bloom.
This year, the sisters sowed 2000 marigold seedlings and the first bloom produced over 100 kg of marigolds. Sonia says that the marigold plant has three blooms. Each bloom comes after a 15-day interval.
Premium varieties of marigolds like asthagandha, tennis ball and pitambar with unique fragrances, sizes, shapes and vibrancy in colours are grown.
Orders for marigolds come from Sonia’s friends and acquaintances, who contact her through her phone number and social media platforms. These exquisite marigolds are sold at Rs 250 per kg offline, and one can negotiate the price if interested in purchasing these flowers in bulk.
When asked about the inspiration behind taking up marigold cultivation, Sonia revealed that they had done so in memory of their late father who had a great love for agriculture. It is but inevitable that she is a firm believer in Goan youth not selling their ancestral land and giving up agriculture. Not only do Sonia and Sneha advocate farming, they also support the idea of traditional organic farming.
People can place orders for marigolds by contacting Sonia at 7722009592, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.