Prices of white arecanut, (also called chali) which are on the upward trend since five months, have crossed production cost of the produce. The G.V. Joshi Committee, comprising T.N. Prakash Kammaradi, Head, Department of Agriculture Economics, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, had in this January estimated the production cost of white arecanut at Rs.168 a kg. It was based on the input cost of 2012-13.

The committee had worked out the cost for the Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative (CAMPCO) Ltd. Prices of ‘hosa adike’ (new arrivals harvested December, 2013 onwards) in the market here touched Rs.197- Rs. 200 on Saturday. At the same time prices of ‘chol’ (old stocks harvested between December, 2012 and April, 2013) touched Rs. 215 – Rs. 220.

The prices of ‘hosa adike’ and ‘chol’ each went up by Rs. 15 per kg in one month from Rs. 185 a kg and Rs. 205 a kg in April. Ramesh Kainthaje, a member of the committee, told The Hindu a majority of growers, who were small and medium farmers, did not have the capacity to hold back the produce. Only large farmers could get the prevailing prices, he said. He said that small and medium farmers usually sold ‘hosa adike’. As heavy rains resulted in fruit rot disease last year, many farmers have lost half of their produce. Many of them do not have old stocks, he said.

Speaking to The Hindu M. Suresh Bhandary, managing director, hinted that the cooperative might increase its procurement rate further on Monday. He said that in addition to crop loss and sharp fall in imports of arecanut, growers not flooding the market with produce has also resulted in upward trend in prices.