DK farmers cheer increase in arecanut price

The price of arecanut has increased, bringing cheer to the growers. The merchants and cooperative societies associated with the procurement of arecanut attribute the rise to a slump in arecanut production.

The price of ‘chol’ arecanut, harvested a year ago, has increased by Rs 15 a kg. It was priced at Rs 275 a kg a few months ago, but is now sold at Rs 290 a kg.
The price of ‘double chol’ arecanut, harvested two years ago, has also increased, and is now Rs 300 a kg.

The price of ‘hosa adike’ – the fresh arrivals – is now around Rs 235 a kg, as compared to Rs 220 a kg in the corresponding period last year. Even the price of the red variety of arecanut has increased to between Rs 320 and Rs 347 a kg. The same variety used to fetch Rs 325 to Rs 343 a kg last year.

Fruit rot

According to arecanut growers, the fruit rot disease affected the arecanut plantations in 2018, resulting in a short supply of ‘single chol’ this year.

Manohar Shetty N, organising secretary of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene, said, “Only certain rich farmers, owning large arecanut plantations might put ‘single chol’ and ‘double chol’ varieties of arecanut for sale. Scarcity of water from September 2018 to July 2019 has affected thousands of plantations in Dakshina Kannada and Kasargod districts, and has resulted in a shortage of arecanut production this year.”

He added that there is high demand for the arecanut grown in Dakshina Kannada and Kasargod region, which also has contributed to the increase in prices of arecanut varieties.
The upward trend in the rices is a positive development for farmers, who had incurred losses due to heavy rain, added Rai.

Illegal import

According to the Department of Horticulture, ‘kole roga’ hit the plantations spread across more than 33,000 hectares in Dakshina Kannada in 2018. As many 56,474 arecanut farmers in the district have submitted applications to the government, seeking compensation for crop loss.

Reduced import

Suresh Bhandary, managing director of Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative Limited (Campco), said, “The prices of varieties of arecanut have stabilised in the domestic market as the import of arecanut has reduced drastically. Illegal import of arecanut from Myanmar and other border areas of Assam has stopped. If traders resort to import of arecanut that is cheaper than domestic arecanut, it will have an impact on the price of arecanut in our market.”

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