Avoid panic in vegetable marketing, farmers told

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L.N. Revathy

Coimbatore, March 29

The Domestic and Export Market Intelligence Cell (DEMIC) functioning in the Centre for Agricultural Rural Development Studies (CARDS) at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University has asked farmers to avoid panic in vegetable production and marketing.

The Cell has been advising growers about the likely price movement of various crops from time to time (based on the past trend).

"Our analysis over the past year has revealed that we have been able to offer appropriate advise to the farmers," Dr. Raveendran, Project Coordinator, CARDS, told

Business Line



The market intelligence cell had, in May last, forecast the cotton price movement for the LRA 5166 in Tirupur market. The study indicated that the price would remain firm, at around Rs 1,850 and Rs 1,900 a quintal, up to September last. The actual price, however, dipped to Rs 1,697/quintal in July, before recovering to reach a high of Rs 1,846 in August and slightly lower at Rs 1,820 a month later.

On banana, the DEMIC's forecast and the actual prevailing rates were identical. The cell had warned chilli farmers over dampening of price levels due to over production and stock piling. "They were right," said a grower. The price level dipped from Rs 2,000/quintal in July to Rs 1,050 in November. The analysts are currently working on blackgram.

Tomatoes disappoint

"Tomato farmers are the most disappointed lot," said Dr Raveendran.

Anticipating a good price, particularly as prices of vegetables tend to rise during summer, a majority of the growers took to tomato cultivation. The monsoon was in their favour. The area swelled and with it the production and productivity. The market was unable to absorb the supplies as tomatoes from Bangalore, Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri also started to flow in. The entire quantities are off loaded in Kerala," he explained.

The lack of storage or processing facilities has compelled growers to dispose of their stock at throwaway rates. The prices crashed from Rs 100 a box of 15 kg to Rs 5 per 15 kg box.

Dr Raveendran said the farmers should select the crop as suggested by DEMIC (see table) and planting period and safeguard themselves from the wild fluctuations of vegetable prices.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 30, 2006)
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