Consignments of Geographical Indications (GI) certified Madurai malli and other traditional flowers such as button rose, lily, chamanthi and marigold were exported from Tamil Nadu to the US and Dubai on Thursday.

To increase the shelf life of the flowers, mostly offered to deities at home and temples, exporters of the consignments were supported in adoption of packaging technology by professors from Floriculture Department of Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore, according to an official release issued by the Commerce & Industry Ministry.

“Direct contacts with the farmers to cultivate quality flowers were undertaken by the exporters and the initiative generated employment for about 130 women workers and about 30 skilled workers,” the release added.

In 2020-2021, fresh cut jasmine flowers and bouquets (comprising jasmine and other traditional flowers) valued at ₹66.28 crore were exported to countries like the USA, UAE and Singapore. Of this, floral consignments worth ₹11.84 crore were exported from Tamil Nadu region through major airports of Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai.

Madurai malli, a popular jasmine flower known for its fragrance, was given GI recognition in 2013. GI protection prevents producers of similar flowers in other regions from using the specific tag and helps growers in the specific region preserve their identity in the local and global market.