Agri Business

Rumours on alleged ill-effects of areca hurt small, marginal farmers: Growers’ body

AJ Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on March 02, 2020

AIAGA urges Centre, State governments to take steps to quell such rumours

The All India Areca Growers’ Association (AIAGA) has said frequent rumours on the alleged ill-effects of arecanut on human health impact growers with small and marginal land holdings. It has urged the Central and State governments to take steps to quell such rumours and initiate measures to provide stability to the market.

AIAGA Secretary Mahesh Puchheppady told BusinessLine that a recent association meeting urged the governments to take steps to tackle such rumours. Stating that a majority of arecanut growers are farmers with small and marginal holdings, he said such rumours bring down the price of the commodity significantly.

In the past, some such incidents have had prices crashing by almost ₹30 a kg, he observed. Such market volatility is not good for small farmers for whom arecanut is the main source of income.

Value-added products

Several value-added products of arecanut have good potential, said Puchheppady. Some of these, including an areca tea manufactured by a young entrepreneur from Karnataka, have markets overseas, too, he added.

If arecanut had ill effects, such value-added products would not have been welcome in overseas markets, he said, adding that the governments should keep this in mind and protect the interests of growers.

Need for transparency

Puchheppady said the meeting also urged the grower members to be transparent in their transactions with arecanut traders, and asked them not to avoid tax at any cost. Some traders offer a slightly higher price for their commodity by avoiding taxes. Growers should not support them, he said.

By being transparent in their transactions, growers can strengthen their future, seeking various benefits from the government, he added.

The AIAGA meeting also decided to conduct an awareness programme on the quality standards for the commodity and the steps to follow to achieve that, he further said.

Published on March 02, 2020

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