It will eliminate middlemen, commission agents: Collector

: Garlic farmers, mostly on upper Kodaikanal, will heave a sigh of relief and get a reasonable price for their produces, thanks to introduction of garlic auction centre in the Tamil Nadu Agricultural Produces regulated marketing committee centre, first of its kind in the district, in Batlagundu.

Launching the first sale at the centre near here recently, Collector N. Venkatachalam said that this facility would eliminate middlemen and commission agents in garlic sale and also help farmers get better price for their produces. It will create a direct link between buyers and farmers.

Garlic farmers in upper Kodaikanal hills had appealed to the Government to set up a regulated market for garlic for a long time. Their dreams were fulfilled.

Moreover, the prices of the produces will be fixed after consultation with farmers and buyers. Auction system will be followed in selling the produce.

The district administration will take efforts to provide godowns for farmers to stock their produces and drying yard for processing garlic on the committee campus. Basic amenities and infrastructure will also be provided to buyers visiting the centre for bulk procurement.

Steps will be taken to bring garlic produced in Mannavanur, Poondi, Kookal, Klavarai and Kavunji villages on upper Kodaikanal, he added.

At present, many garlic farmers on upper Kodaikanal hill have been despatching their produces to Periakulam for a private market.

With garlic harvesting was in full swing at many villages on upper Kodaikanal hill, commencement of auction at regulated market was really a boon to farmers.

The total area under garlic in Kodaikanal hill was 370 hectares. Poomparai, Gundupatti, Mannavanur on the upper hill are major garlic production centres with an annual production of 2,250 tonnes.

Total garlic cultivation area in the state was 528 hectares and the total production approximately 3,139 tonnes. Garlic has been cultivated widely on 88 hectares in the Nilgiris, 57 hectares in Cuddalore and 30 hectares in Erode districts, according to Deputy Director of Horticulture (Central Schemes) S. Raja Mohammad.

Garlic was being cultivated on about 2.09 lakh hectares with an annual production of 12.64 lakh tonnes in the country next to China, global leader in area and production. Madhya Pradesh tops in the country with 26 per cent of total production, Gujarat follows with 19.11 per cent, Uttar Pradesh 16.77 per cent, Rajesthan 11 per cent, Orissa 5.25 per cent and Bihar 2.03 per cent, lowest in the country, he added.