Kerala

Ginger growers feel the heat of demonetisation

Farm workers loading ginger rhizomes from a farm at Thareekkara in Chikmagaluru district in Karnataka.

Farm workers loading ginger rhizomes from a farm at Thareekkara in Chikmagaluru district in Karnataka.  

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Poor demand and low price for ginger rhizomes in the market after the demonetisation drive, apart from low production owing to climate change, have put Keralite ginger growers who cultivate ginger in Wayanad district and various parts of Karnataka in a fix.

“The cash crunch following the demonetisation is a major reason for the crisis as there is no demand for the produce,” says Mohan Navrang, secretary, Kerala Ginger Growers’ Association.

The price of the produce was Rs.950-Rs.1,000 a bag (a bag contains 62 kg of the produce) on Tuesday in the Karnataka market as against Rs.2,100 a bag during the corresponding period last year. The price declined to Rs.900 a bag (62 kg a bag) in the Wayanad market.

This year, close to 20,000 growers have cultivated the crop in 60,000 hectares of rented land, mainly in Karnataka.

“Usually we get an average yield of 750 to 1,000 bags (60 kg a bag) from a hectare, but this year it shrank to 300 to 500 bags owing to dearth of monsoon showers. The cost of production is nearly Rs.4.5 lakh for an acre. In the present situation, the growers cannot recoup half of the investment,” Mr. Mohanan, who is cultivating ginger in nearly 10 hectares of rented land at Thareekkara, Chikmagalur, Karnataka, said.

“Growers who delay the harvest of ginger also face the loss, as rhizomes become dry and lose weight,” he said.

Growers fear that the present crisis will affect the cultivation of the crop next season as well as preparation for next cultivation should begin by the middle of January and they need cash to prepare land, purchase seeds, and pay the advance of the lease amount.

The association submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister and the Union Agriculture Minister seeking their intervention in the issue on a war footing.

The organisation would take out a march at Sulthan Bathery at 10 a.m. on Thursday in protest against the ‘anti-farmer’ policies of the Central government.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 7:26:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/Ginger-growers-feel-the-heat-of-demonetisation/article16913344.ece

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