Vizag’s Anakapalle jaggery market back on even keel

Ch. R. S Sarma Visakhapatnam | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on January 17, 2017


The Jaggery market at Anakapalle in Visakhapatnam district has returned to normal two months after demonetisation, and the trade, farmers and the labour are now quite comfortable with cashless transactions.

For a month after demonetisation, according to the trade and farmers’ representatives, the going was very difficult and there were apprehensions that the season might be ruined, but “fortunately those apprehensions have not come true and the market has absorbed the shock”, according to KV Sarat, the president of the Anakapalle Jaggery Merchants’ Association.

At present, after the Sankranti festival, the market reopened on Tuesday and the rates for black Jaggery are in the range of ₹270-280 per lump (weighing on the aggregate 16 kg or so) and the better varieties are fetching ₹320-330 per lump. The arrivals are 15,000-16,000 per day and the trade expects the trend to continue till the second week of April and then the arrivals taper off. By the second week of May the season will be over.

Learning the hard way

Sarat said cash transactions were going on almost 100 per cent at the market yard, “before the shock administered by Prime Minister Modi. Initially it was extremely difficult, almost impossible, to transact business. But most of the farmers have since opened bank accounts, and now we are paying by cheque or through fund transfer. Now there are no hassles.”

Paying the labour at the market yard proved a bit more difficult, but “the problem has been resolved. We now pay the money into the account of the ‘maistri’ ( heading a group of 15 labourers or so) and he in turn issues cheques to the individual labourers.”

P Govind, another merchant who sells Jaggery to upcountry markets in West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand, said the markets there also had settled down and “now we are facing no problems in transacting business. Hopefully, there will be no further shocks.”

Welcoming the hike in cash withdrawal limits coming into effect from Tuesday, he said, “The daily ATM withdrawal limit of ₹10,000 is most welcome. It may be more than enough for the farmers or workers. But the merchants should be allowed to draw more through the current accounts.”

During the last season, 29 lakh lumps of Jaggery were sold at the market yard and the number this season may approximately be the same, according to him.

Published on January 17, 2017

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