Bumper tamarind harvest on campus turns sour for BU

Bumper tamarind harvest on campus turns sour for BU

Bangalore University’s tamarind yield hasn’t found any takers. DH Photo/Janardhan B K

Planning to top up its fast-emptying coffers, the Bangalore University (BU) has set its eyes on hundreds of tamarind trees that are abundant on its premises at Jnanabharathi.

Buoyed by the bumper crop, the university is scouting for buyers and has invited tenders twice. But despite BU’s best efforts to market the harvest, traders have hardly evinced any interest, forcing it to try its luck yet another time after Sankranthi.  

The university has close to 500 tamarind trees on its 1,000-acre campus. Initially, the officials had no plans to auction the crop. “As the trees were planted a few years ago and just began to yield fruit, we used to sell it off for a mere Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh. But this year, it is a bumper crop which may fetch several lakhs,” said a BU official.

Sources in APMC market at Yeshwantpur said superior quality tamarind costs Rs 200 to Rs 250 per kg. “This year, all trees are brimming with yield and we hope to get enough revenue.”

Grown in the arid condition of Jnanabharati, the tamarind at BU, according to botanical experts of the varsity, are rich with soft pulp. “Despite the best of the fruit, hardly any trader is coming forward. Everybody expects us to sell the fruit at a throwaway price. The trees are a source of income for the university. We will call for another auction and hopefully, there will be participants to buy the crop for a good value,” said a  horticulture official of BU.