After the price of silk cocoons fell by over two-thirds on Sunday, forcing farmers in Channapatna, Kollegal and Ramanagaram to protest on the Bangalore-Mysore Highway, the market showed signs of recovery with the prices going up to Rs. 90-130 a kg.
While in the Channapatna market, the price rose to around Rs. 120, after it had plunged to Rs. 40-50 on Sunday, in the Ramanagaram market the average auction price remained below Rs. 100, a market official said. Though the price on Sunday was an all-time low, the crisis in the sector had started in March this year, when the import duty on silk was slashed from 30 to 5 per cent.
Though the reason for the current decline is not known, a market official said reelers stayed away from the market because of Bakrid, as a majority of them belong to the Muslim community. Even on Monday, the markets opened only after 3 p.m. However, Boregowda, a farmer who sold a part of his produce on Monday evening, said that though markets do dip during the festival, the latest crash caught all of them unawares.
Mr. Boregowda said that many farmers spent the night at the Ramanagaram market on Sunday, hoping that the markets would open the next day and they would be able to sell the cocoons. “But, reelers did not come until 3 p.m., and given that we had to sell, we could barely ask for a decent price.”