To be established in Uthamapalayam block, says Theni Collector P. Muthuveeran

: An exclusive cooperative regulated market for green and black grapes will be established in Uthamapalayam block soon, first of its kind in the State, to ensure better price to grape growers throughout the season, according to Collector P. Muthuveeran.

Talking to press persons after interacting with grape growers and exporters here on Wednesday, he said that the State Government had allotted Rs.2 crore for setting up of this market. All infrastructure will be provided in this market.

Grape growers in Surulipatti, Cumbum, Kamayagoundenpatti and Anamalaiyanpatti, major black grape producing centres and Odaipatti, only green grape producing centre in the district, will be immensely benefited.

We will find a suitable location within Uthamapalayam block to set up this market. Farmers had been waiting for a long time for such a regulated market, he noted.

This market will relieve grape growers from the clutches of middlemen who garnered huge profits and offered only pittance to growers. Transparency in selling grapes would be ensured in the regulated market, he added.

“We have been making efforts to improve quality of grapes and sweet content in them in order to use them to manufacture wine.”

Farmers in Odaipatti have been harvesting grapes five times in a two-year period. Black grapes are being grown in large scale in the Cumbum valley.

The total area under grape cultivation is more than 2,500 acres. Farmers expressed their happiness over establishment of the regulated market.

Already, grape growers have plans to form a consortium to fix price for their produces and to streamline marketing pattern.

Underground drinage

Briefing about other development activities, Mr. Muthuveeran said that underground drainage project would be launched in Theni on November 8.

Sophisticated technologies will be employed to treat sewage water. He also assured that even treated sewage water would not be let into the Mullaperiyar River. “We will take steps to use treated water for agriculture purposes.”

Reacting to wastes from Kerala being dumped on border areas of Theni district, he warned that criminal action would be initiated against persons who dumped wastes.

“Already, we have informed Kerala about such illegal activities. All efforts will be taken to protect the environment and agriculture lands in the district.”

Dumping of wastes created not only environmental hazards but also posed grave threat to the health of people living in nearby areas.