1. Commodity News

Prices of banana are falling in Kerala

Aiswarya R Nair
Aiswarya R Nair

Food production farmers in Kerala are complaining about the fall in prices of banana and some other products. Nendran variety of banana, which is a key crop for thousands of farmers in the State, is fetching only Rs 21 to 22 a kg in the farmers’ markets in Ernakulam. Earlier the nendran banana was selling at Rs 28 to 30 in the farmers’ market which was also not good enough to help farmers who have heavily invested in the crop.

Farmers are complaining that Even though price is at rock-bottom there is hardly any buyer in the market. The price is not remunerative as producing a kg of banana costs nearly Rs 40. Sources in the know of price movements in the vegetable market said that nendran banana price had not moved up this year with the price hovering around Rs 40 a kg in the retail market.

A labourer costs Rs 800 to Rs 850 per day and providing fertilizer, plant care and protection involve other costs. Farmers must be ensured that they get at least Rs 40 a kg as the basic price.

While the price of the banana is a pointer to the continuing pain for farmers amid the anti-COVID-19 restrictions, the price of other crops too are not remunerative. Snake gourd was fetching only Rs 12 a kg while the price of bitter gourd and pumpkin too ruled low in the wholesale market.

Nendran banana cultivation has surged in the State with the remunerative prices for the crop during festival seasons like Onam. The total acreage under the crop in 2018-19 stood at nearly 53,000 hectares with a production of over more than lakh tonnes in the State.

Agencies like Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council and Kudumbashree mission too have encouraged farmers to go in for the crop. Farmers under the Kudumbashree joint liability groups have brought 1,481 hectares in Ernakulam under banana cultivation while VFPCK farmers have brought 2,100 hectares under cultivation for different varieties of bananas.

Source: The Hindu

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