Kerala

Areca nut price soars, but farmers have nothing to cheer

The decline in areca nut yield in the district owing to climatic changes and disease has triggered a sharp increase in its price.

The spot price for tender areca nut touched ₹136 a bag (60 kg) in Wayanad on Thursday as against ₹98 a bag during the corresponding period last year.

The areca nut harvest usually begins by the first week of November and continues till February end.

Owing to heavy rain that lashed the district this year, areca nut trees have been infected with fruit rot disease or “mahali” and yellow leaf disease. So, the arecanut production in the district is likely to drop sharply.

According to the farming sources, the production will decline to 60% to 70% this season.

The scanty arrival of the commodity owing to a sharp decline in yield and the huge demand for the produce in the market, especially in Karnataka, was the major reason for the sudden spurt in the price of the produce, market sources said.

As the gap between demand and supply widens in the coming months, there will be a further increase in price, sources said.

However, the news of price rise has not brought cheer to the farmers in the district owing to the drastic decline in production. Many of the farmers have suffered heavy losses this year due to the diseases affecting the crop and the palm, George Mathew, an areca nut grower at Panamaram, said. “We are not expecting much benefit from the increase in prices. More than 80% of the produce in my five-acre plantation was damaged. Though the price has escalated, farmers in the district will not benefit much,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 5:31:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/areca-nut-price-soars-but-farmers-have-nothing-to-cheer/article33202179.ece

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