For the farmers of Pudukottai district, the good yield of acid lime recorded this year hasn’t turned out to be a reason to celebrate, as poor price for their produce plays spoiler.
Despite severe drought conditions prevailing in the district for the past many months, acid lime farmers of more than 20 villages in Alangudi taluk, have registered good harvest, thanks to water from borewells.
The daily harvest from the villages stands of 15 tonnes is collected by the local commission agents and marketed in areas, including Tiruchi and Madurai. The cultivation cost has increased manifold due to various factors, particularly drought condition and load shedding.
Farmers adopt various methods for raising the crop. While a compact area is brought under comprehensive cultivation practice by some farmers, several others cultivate it as an intercrop. It is also raised in their backyard for commercial purpose.
Though the wholesale price for the fruits has shot up from Rs.15 per kg last year to Rs.50-Rs.60, the hike has not been enough to support the cultivation cost, say a cross section of farmers of Alangudi taluk.
What has come as a big shock to farmers is the exploitation by commission agents, who market it at Rs.150 per kg. There has been a good demand for the fruit this summer with patronage from juice stalls, says Selvam, a farmer of Senthangudi village.
The villages in Alangudi, Keeramangalam, Seriyalur, Kothamangalam, Kulamangalam, Senthankudi, Nagaram and Panankulam are the major areas noted for acid lime production in the district. A majority of the commission agencies are located in Keeramangalam, Kothamangalam, Vadakadu, Pulichangadu Kaikatti, Panankulam, and Kulamangalam.