Kerala

Banana prices soar ahead of Onam

Nenthran is in good demand for making banana chips during the festival season

With Onam approaching, prices of banana have increased giving succour to the farmers here.

Along with nenthran, the prices of njalipoovan and robusta varieties also showed an upward trend. Nenthran is in good demand for making banana chips during the festival season.

Nethran prices at the Swayasraya Karshaka Vipanies (SKVs) under the Vegetables and Fruits Promotion Council, Keralam (VFPCK), was ₹65 a kg. While the prices of njalipoovan reached ₹70, the palayankodan and robusta fetched ₹30 and ₹25 respectively. There was also a simultaneous rise in the prices of banana in the open markets.

The price of nenthran was nearly ₹25 two months back and farmers had to sell robusta at a price below ₹5 a kg. The SKVs are the main market for selling produces of farmers and there is a minimum price for each produce at the auctions held at the centres.

The present rise in the prices is attributed to the poor availability and high demand during the festival season. According to sources in the SKVs, the prices may further rise as there was a drop in the production. The arrival of nenthran from Tamil Nadu has considerably fell due to the drought situation there. Nenthran and robusta are mainly cultivated in Tamil Nadu and high production there was said to be the reason for low prices in the SKVs in the past. The banana from the district mainly reach the markets in Ernakulam, Kottayam, Thrissur and Alappuzha. There are 18 SKVs in the district through which the farm produces are sold in auctions. Of them two are in the vegetable producing villages of Vattavada and Kanthallur, where banana is not an item to be held for auction.

In all other vipanies, banana is a main item for auction. The farmers say that the unfavourable climatic conditions and poor prices for over two years resulted in a drop in the production level. However, it would help the farmers who cultivated the crop aiming at the Onam markets. The main banana cultivating areas in the district are Thopramkudy, Adimaly, Rajakkad, Erattayar, Thankamani, Parathode, Udumbannur and Kanchiyar.

It is estimated that there are over 12,000 banana farmers in the district which account for over 10,000 hectares of land.

A large number of small-scale farmers who grow plantain and are not registered with the SKVs sell the produce to the merchants locally. They are mainly sold in the local vegetable shops and tea shops.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 8:49:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/banana-prices-soar-ahead-of-onam/article19524519.ece

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