Pepper farmers pin hopes on summer showers

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on March 05, 2020 Published on March 05, 2020

The continuing summer showers in the last three days across pepper-growing regions have raised the hopes of the farming community that their pepper vines, mostly in Idukki and Wayanad areas, would survive.

Pepper vines had started wilting in summer heat right from February itself. The water level in most of the growing regions have gone down significantly and almost all the wells have dried up. The rains have now brought hope for them.

Meanwhile, the pepper market in Kochi on Thursday was down by ₹2 a kg, mainly because of the availability of low bulk density and high moisture content pepper. The quantity offered was on the higher side at 74 tonnes and the average price realised was ₹304 for ungarbled varieties. MG1 garbled varieties stood at ₹324, while new pepper was quoted at ₹294 per kg.

Kishore Shamji of Kishor Spices pointed out that increased pepper availability from Karnataka and Wayanad has forced the prices to move southwards, mainly because of the quality of the commodity. There are also allegations that Karnataka pepper is moving to Tamil Nadu via Kerala to evade APMC tax and this was one of the reasons for the cheap availability of pepper in Tamil Nadu centres, especially in Gudalur and Erode.

Meanwhile, traders are also worried over the positive reports of Coronavirus spreading across the country which would dampen demand especially in the upcoming Holi festival season next week in the consuming markets.

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Published on March 05, 2020
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