Monsoon bonanza for areca growers as yields rise

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Dharwad varsity cell asks farmers to hold back produce.

Anil Urs

Hubli, Jan. 18

Good monsoon has led to higher yield of arecanut and it is likely to be 20 quintals a hectare. This higher productivity is expected to have bearing on the prices in the three key markets – Kumta, Sirsi and Siddapur – of north Karnataka, said the Domestic and Export Market Intelligence Cell (DEMIC) of University of Agricultural Sciences-Dharwad.

Prices of arecanut currently are trading around Rs 8,500, Rs 9,163 and Rs 9,157 a quintal in Kumta, Sirsi and Siddapur markets respectively and they are expected to go up by March.

Price levels

Arecanut is expected to trade between Rs 9,500 and Rs 10,000. There are different variants in arecanut which are unique to each market. The price quoted is for the fair average quality.

According to DEMIC forecast, prices of arecanut in the key markets from January to March are expected to be as follows: In Kumta's regulated market, prices of arecanut are expected to range from Rs 8,000 to Rs 9,500. In Sirsi it is likely to be traded between Rs 9,200 and Rs 10,000 and in Siddapur between Rs 9,000 and Rs 9,500. Selling strategy

Keeping all these factors in mind, farmers have been advised to hold back their produce until March and sell only thereafter to realise better prices. The cost of storage or holding back would be Rs 4 a quintal for a month.

“Among the markets, the maximum price is expected to be in Sirsi followed by Siddapur and Kumta markets. Farmers of these regions can consider the price differentials while taking the decision about where to sell their produce,” a DEMIC official said.

“If price difference covers the cost of transportation, then it would be better to farmers to sell in Sirsi than in Siddapur. Well dried and graded nuts would fetch better prices. Hence, farmers are advised to keep these things in mind while preparing their arecanut for market.

This price forecast is according to the present market scenario. If the imports increase in future, the prices are likely to come down by around Rs 500 a quintal,” he added.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 19, 2011)
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