Pongal gift hampers blamed for dip in sale of sugarcane

Gandhi Market in Tiruchi saw brisk business on Thursday.

Gandhi Market in Tiruchi saw brisk business on Thursday.

The distribution of edible variety of sugarcane along with Pongal gift hampers in ration shops has affected seasonal traders, who had strocked up sugarcane in different parts of the city.

Traders did not face any problem until the State government was distributing a piece of sugarcane along with Pongal hampers to ration cardholders as people would buy a full sugarcane in the markets to celebrate the festival. Though the distribution of gift hampers had begun a week ago, many chose to get their hampers on Wednesday and Thursday and many were apparently satisfied with that.

“Customers generally buy a pair of sugarcane adhering to tradition. But several customers just bought one sugarcane this year as they already have one cane that they received from ration shops, It has had its impact in the market,” said M. Balasubramani, a seasonal trader, who set up a temporary sugarcane stall in Bheema Nagar.

However, the phenomenon has not caused a slump in the prices of edible sugarcane. While a piece of sugarcane (good quality) was sold at ₹40 in Uzhavar Sandhai at Thennur, it was being sold for ₹50 to ₹60 by seasonal traders at other places. Small sized sugarcane were being sold at ₹30. Supermarkets too stocked up sugarcane. A sugarcane of medium size was being sold at ₹.28 a piece at a private supermarket in the city.

The prices were said to be marginally higher than the previous year. It went up by ₹20 a pair on average. Traders attribute the price rise to shortage in supply, rise in transportation cost and sharp rise in overhead expenses.

“I have paid ₹420 for a load of 1,000 canes. The actual cost of each cane is ₹42. I need to sell at the rate of ₹60 a cane to make a decent profit,” said Shanmugam, another seasonal trader at Bheema Nagar.

Similarly, price of turmeric bunch has gone up by ₹10 this year. Traders quoted a good quality turmeric bunch at ₹25 to ₹30.

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Printable version | May 23, 2022 6:46:08 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/pongal-gift-hampers-blamed-for-dip-in-sale-of-sugarcane/article38267098.ece