L. Renganathan

Price has gone up around 40 per cent over the past few days

Nendran variety may be hit if water does not drain quickly

Sudden price rise due to unexpected rainfall

in summer

KULITHALAI: If rains had affected crops and farmers in several parts of the State, then they have come as a blessing in disguise to banana farmers here in the district.

Several thousand acres in Kulithalai and Krishnarayapuram in the district, Musiri and Thottiam in Tiruchi district form the banana belt in the State.

Farmers and traders point out that the price has gone up around 40 per cent over the past few days as the arrivals from markets in southern districts fell under the weight of sustained rainfall there.

In the Kulithalai region, major banana shandies are at Lalapet and Kulithalai while smaller markets are regular sights in villages in the Kulithalai and Krishnarayapuram taluks.

Farmers say that the Elai Arasi (Nei Poovan variety) banana fetches them Rs.8.50 a kg now, up from the abysmal low Rs.5.50 a few days back. During the height of season, the same variety fetched them Rs.12 a kg. Even the ‘Poovan’ variety is quoted at Rs.4.50 per kg, having gone up from Rs.3 a kg, which was the price till recently.

While there is not much of ‘Nendran’ variety in the market, as most of the crops are in the matured state and needs some more time to ripen and come to the market. Farmers observe that water should drain off the fields quickly else the Nendran banana crop would be susceptible to fungal attacks.

The sudden price rise, following the unexpected rainfall in summer, is attributed to the severe damage caused to banana crops in southern districts.

Traders claimed that damage to crops in the southern districts was forcing them to look for alternatives that were not affected by rain and Karur district offered them scope.

That explains how the price went up, they said.

Closure of channels

Farmers in the region also opine that the present closure of irrigation channels such as South Bank Canal, Kattalai Highly Level Channel, New Kattalai High Level Channel and the Krishnarayapuram Channel should continue.