The taste of tamarind is likely to turn more tartaric this season given its higher market price at Rs. 70 to Rs. 80 a kg despite the bumper crop.
“The crop is good but the cumulative yield is not commensurate as many of the huge old trees have been felled mercilessly in rural area,” Killare Namdev, a tamarind trader from Yavatmal in Maharashtra, gives out the reason for the odd phenomenon.
Adilabad is considered to be among the leading tamarind producers in the area which encompasses even parts of Vidarbha in the neighbouring State. Summer is the time when the sweet and sour pods are processed in villages before being put up in markets.
There is a lot of activity under the tamarind trees (Tamarindus indicus) which continue to survive in the villages. Groups of women can be seen processing the fruit by separating it from the dry shell and the rather blackish seed.
“At many places tamarind processing fetches good incomes for wage seekers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). They finish the MGNREGS work by 11 a.m., which leaves them sufficient time for earning additionally through tamarind processing.
The seed of this fruit however, does not command a higher price in the current season. “The seed is used as an ingredient in biscuits and in gutkha,” points out Mr. Namdev.