High quality banana is still in demand; A major portion of the arrivals is of medium and low quality

Arrivals of banana, which had come down sharply over the past few months owing to the drought condition, have picked up at Gandhi Market in the city over the past few days ahead of the festival season.

The price of the fruit, however, is expected to rule steady and not likely to come down owing to the festival demand, wholesale traders at the market said.

The price of good quality poovan, rasthali, pachai and karpoorvali varieties had increased by at least Re. 1 a fruit over the past couple of months as arrivals had trickled.

“Normally, we used to get about 5,000 to 10,000 bunches a day. But last month, it had come down to just about 4,000 bunches a day. But over the past few days arrivals have increased substantially. On Wednesday, we got about 20,000 bunches, thanks to the arrivals from Theni, Cumbum, Chinnamanur, Karur and parts of Tiruchi, and neighbouring districts. However, high quality banana is still in demand as medium and low quality fruits constitute most of the current arrivals,” said K.P.Palanivel of Plantain Traders Association at Gandhi Market.

Retail traders from different parts of the State purchase the fruit in auction from the wholesale market here every day.

Poovan variety accounts for nearly 80 per cent of the arrivals at the market.

But a major portion of the arrivals is of medium and low quality currently, said traders.

On Wednesday, a bunch of high quality poovan variety fetched about Rs. 550 a bunch.

However, traders said, the price had been ruling steady after witnessing an increase by about Rs. 100 a bunch about a month ago.

In the retail markets, the variety is sold at Rs. 4 a fruit. There was also good demand for G9 robusta variety and was being sold at Rs. 700 a bunch at the market, traders said.

Banana growers in the district have been complaining of extensive crop loss owing to the severe drought condition earlier this year. As per a report sent to the government by the district administration, banana crop in about 10,000 acres was damaged. However, farmers claim that the extent of the damage was much higher and have been demanding compensation.