Mangaluru

‘Chali’ variety arecanut prices on upward trend

Workers grading ‘chali’ (white arecanut) variety at the CAMPCO warehouse in Mangaluru on Friday.

Workers grading ‘chali’ (white arecanut) variety at the CAMPCO warehouse in Mangaluru on Friday.   | Photo Credit: H.S. Manjunath

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Stakeholders attribute it to short supply and reduction in imports

The ‘chali’ (white arecanut) variety arecanut prices are on the upward trend in the market. Arecanut stakeholders attribute it to short supply and reduction in the glut of imported arecanut.

According to Khandige Shankarananarayana Bhat, vice-president, Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative Ltd (CAMPCO), Mangaluru, the prices of ‘single chol’ arecanut (harvested a year ago) has shot up by ₹15 a kg.

It was ₹275 per kg one-and-a-half months ago and now it is ₹290 per kg. The same grade commanded ₹275 per kg in November last year.

The prices of ‘double chol’ arecanut (harvested two years ago) has been ruling at ₹300 per kg for more than a month. It fetched ₹305 per kg last year.

The prices of ‘hosa adike’ (fresh arrivals harvested now) has opened with ₹235 per kg now, compared to ₹220 per kg during the same time last year, he said.

Mr. Bhat told The Hindu that ‘kole roga’ (fruit rot disease), which hit the plantations on a vast scale during the 2018 rainy season, has resulted in the short supply of ‘single chol’ arecanut. The disease hit about 20% of the plantations in Dakshina Kannada this year, he said.

M. Suresh Bhandary, managing director of the cooperative, said that the market trend indicated that there was no circulation of imported arecanut in the domestic market now like earlier.

Consumers in North India preferred ‘chali’ variety for chewing and to consume along with paan.

According to the Department of Horticulture, the ‘kole roga’ had hit plantations spread over 33,000 hectares in Dakshina Kannada last year (2018).

Nearly 56,000 arecanut farmers in the district had sought compensation from the government for loss of produce due to the disease. It had hit the plantations on a vast scale, after five years. The total compensation to applicants had been estimated at ₹60 crore as per the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) guidelines.

Patte Venugopal, an agriculturist from Patte village in Puttur taluk, told The Hindu that many arecanut growers have suffered a double whammy this year.

As there was a delay in monsoon this year, many have lost the arecanut palms owing to scarcity of water. Later it rained heavily this August-September resulting in the return of ‘kole roga’ for the second consecutive year in some pockets of the district on a vast scale.

“If I lost about 40% of the crop due to the disease last year, this year the loss is about 65%,” he said.

S.R. Satishchandra, president, CAMPCO recently told a gathering of dairy farmers in the city that there are signs of ‘chali’ prices going up.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2019 3:44:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/chali-variety-arecanut-prices-on-upward-trend/article30053517.ece

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