The City is facing a shortage of tender coconuts this summer with the arrivals dropping considerably at the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) yard at Maddur in Mandya district. The City gets a large chunk of its tender coconut supplies from Maddur.
Officials at the APMC in Maddur said that since March 1, shortage of water supply to the coconut farms had reduced the yield considerably.
“Tender coconut production is getting affected due to various diseases,” said N G Venkatesh Reddy, secretary, APMC, Maddur.
APMC officials said that while the tender coconut arrivals to the market between March 1 and 5, 2013, stood at 1.11 crore, the arrivals reduced to 54.81 lakh, in the corresponding period this year. The number of arrivals in February 2013 was 1.85 crore, but it fell to 1.12 crore in February this year, they said.
Tender coconuts arriving at the Maddur market are sweet and command a huge demand, said Reddy.
“A week ago, the superfine-quality tender coconuts were being sold at Rs 13 each. Presently, it is being sold to traders at Rs 15. The low and average quality coconuts are being sold for Rs 4 to Rs 8 each and there is no increase in the prices as of now.”
G M Diwakar, president of the KR Market Flower Merchants’ Association, said tender coconut vendors in the market and surrounding areas purchase the produce directly from farmers in Ramanagar and Channapatna.
“From March 1, the vendors in the City are selling tender coconuts at Rs 25 each, up from Rs 20.”
Prasanna, a wholesaler from Domlur, said, “I buy tender coconuts in bulk from the APMC yards in KR Pet, Hassan and Maddur. A few weeks ago, I used to pay Rs 14 for each (including transportation costs). Now, I shell out Rs 16 to Rs 17.”
K B Dundi, joint director of plantation crops and plant protection, Horticulture department, said, “Coconut is grown on 4.9 lakh hectares in the State and the crop on about 1.65 lakh hectares is affected due to low rainfall in recent years. Good rainfall is the only hope to match supply and demand.”
However, the prices of coconuts have not increased. As per the Hopcoms website, the prices of coconuts - big, medium and small (as on Monday) - were Rs 26, Rs 22 and Rs 17, respectively.