Campco likely to procure areca from select centres from April 13

AJ Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on April 10, 2020

Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative Ltd (Campco) plans to procure arecanut from select centres from April 13.

Campco President SR Satishchandra told BusinessLine that the cooperative has approached the authorities for permission to procure arecanut — the main source of income for a majority of farmers in some parts of Karnataka — from its grower members.

The cooperative is likely to procure arecanut, thrice a week, at nine of its branches in the Dakshina Kannada district from April 13, provided it gets permission from the authorities. Each branch can procure arecanut from up to 20 members a day. The members will have to collect tokens from the respective branches over the phone before bringing in the commodity.

Asked why the number of procurements was capped at 20 members a day, he said this was to ensure social distancing at the centres. Increasing the number of members bringing in the commodity in a day would lead to crowding, he added.

Each member can sell either 100 kg of arecanut or commodity worth ₹25,000 in a month. The procurement hours will be limited between 9 am and 2 pm, Satishchandra said, adding that the members should bring their Campco membership cards and RTC details along with them.

The members should compulsorily wear masks and maintain at least 3 feet distance at the procurement centres, he added.

Stable market

With the lockdown across the country, there is no trading in arecanut-producing centres. However, the arecanut market was on an upward trend in the last six months before the implementation of lockdown.

The prices of the white variety of arecanut were in the range of ₹295-300 a kg for old stocks, and ₹260-262 a kg for new stocks at the time of the implementation of lockdown. These prices were in the range of ₹285-300 a kg for old stocks, and ₹250 a kg for new stocks six months ago. 

The prices of red variety of arecanut were in the range of ₹415-420 a kg at the time of the closure of the market due to lockdown. It was in the range of around ₹370 a kg six months ago.

Ban not to impact

AS Bhat, a farmer from Bantwal taluk of Dakshina Kannada district told BusinessLine that the governments had taken decisions to ban gutkha temporarily. Stating that they cannot ban gutkha and paan masala permanently, he said the livelihood of lakhs of farmers are dependent on arecanut.

Before taking any decision to ban gutkha or paan masala permanently, the governments will have to provide alternative livelihood options to arecanut growers in the country, he said.

Allaying any fears on the price crash in the market due to such bans, Shankaranarayana Bhat, a grower from Kasaragod district of Kerala, told Business Line that the ban in many states would not have a major impact on prices as the factories manufacturing them have already closed their operations due to lockdown. Above all, there is no stock of arecanut in the major consuming markets. These factors would help maintain the prices at the current level in the post-lockdown scenario also, he said.



Published on April 10, 2020

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