Agri Business

Do not resort to panic selling during lockdown, Areca Growers’ Association tells farmers in Karnataka

AJ Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on April 28, 2021

Arecanut cooperatives in the State are buying the commodity to a limited extent while adhering to the Covid protocols

The All-India Areca Growers’ Association (AIAGA) has asked arecanut growers not to resort to panic selling of the commodity in the wake of 14-day lockdown in Karnataka. The Karnataka government has implemented a 14-day lockdown from April 27 to May 12 to control the Covid spread in the state.

Speaking to BusinessLine, Mahesh Puchhappady, General Secretary of the AIAGA, said some growers suffered losses as they rushed to sell arecanut after panicking during the lockdown in 2020. The main reason for the panic selling then was the reduction in the prices of arecanut by private traders at that time.

Some private traders are using the same tactics this year also. Growers should not become victims of such tactics, he said.

The arecanut cooperatives in the State are buying the commodity to a limited extent while adhering to the Covid protocols. Growers can take the benefit of such efforts, and help maintain stability in the market, he said.

Last year, the Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative (Campco) Ltd was the first cooperative to buy the commodity from the growers amid the lockdown. The office-bearers of the cooperative then had stated that Campco had taken this decision to protect the interest of farmers in spite of the closure of markets in the areca-consuming centres.

SN Khandige, Vice-President of Campco, told BusinessLine that the cooperative will replicate the model it implemented during the last lockdown and continue purchasing the commodity from growers at the Campco branches in Karnataka. Campco’s move last year had helped in bringing stability in the market, he said.

A reported earlier by BusinessLine, the cooperative has proposed to restrict the purchases of arecanut to one quintal per member during the lockdown period. Arecanut purchase will be restricted to 25 members per branch per day. The cooperative will continue purchasing cocoa from its growers. However, it has stopped the purchase of pepper and rubber for the time being.

Khandige said that there were efforts by some private traders to bring down the prices of arecanut in the market in the wake of lockdown in the state this time also. Stating that the arecanut market has remained stable, he said the growers should not yield to such moves by private traders.

Puchhappady said the cooperative is offering prices up to ₹390 a kg for new stocks of white arecanut, and ₹490 a kg for the old stocks of white arecanut. The private traders were offering ₹360 a kg for new stocks, he said.

A grower, who is in dire need of money, can even sell 1 quintal of arecanut and get up to ₹39000 to meet his needs, he said. Otherwise, he can release it to the market when the lockdown is lifted, he added.

Meanwhile, the Horticulture Department has asked farmers in Dakshina Kannada district to contact the department if they face problems in the transportation and sale of produces grown by them. It said that there is no restriction on activities related to agriculture and horticulture during the lockdown period.

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Published on April 28, 2021

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