Agri Business

‘Paan' chewing boosts white areca to record price

A. J. Vinayak Mangalore | Updated on August 10, 2011



The price of old stocks of white arecanut has touched a record of Rs 175 a kg in the regulated APMC (agriculture produce market committee) markets in Dakshina Kannada district. However, in the un-regulated markets, dominated by private traders, the old stocks are getting over Rs 180 a kg.

According to the arecanut growers, the old stocks of the commodity commanded a maximum price of Rs 172 a kg in 1999.

Mr Ramesh Kaintaje, who was a member of the G.V. Joshi panel to fix the production cost of arecanut and grower, told Business Line that this is the highest price for old stocks of the commodity in the last 12 years.

The prices are ranging at Rs 170-175 a kg for old stocks of white arecanut and Rs 160-165 a kg for new stocks in the different APMC markets in white arecanut growing regions in the country.

Mr A.S. Bhat, Managing Director of Central Arecanut and Cocoa Processing and Marketing Cooperative Ltd, said that this increase in price is purely due to the demand-supply situation of the commodity in the market.

The ban of plastic sachets in the packaging of gutkha by Supreme Court has made many consumers switch over to ‘paan' (betel leaves) consumption. (Red arecanut is used in the manufacture of ‘gutkha'. White arecanut is a major ingredient in the preparation of ‘paan').

Mr Ravish Hegde, Managing Director of the Sirsi-based Totagars' Cooperative Sale Society, said that the decline in production of white arecanut is one of the reasons for this price rise.

Mr Kaintaje said that the price of the commodity, which was at Rs 65 a kg for new stocks and Rs 85 a kg for old stocks last year, has doubled this year. With the every increase in the price, growers started releasing the commodity to the market. With this, nearly 70 per cent of old stocks and nearly 50 per cent of new stocks have already been sold by growers this year. The growing demand for the commodity is pushing the price up, he said. The fruit rot disease is likely to reduce the crop production by another 30 per cent this year also. Some of the plantations in the growing regions have already been witnessing the onset of fruit rot disease, he said.

Published on August 10, 2011

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