Sharp fall in price of ginger rhizomes put farmers in a fix

Share If You Like The Article

Most plantations under threat of fungal, bacterial diseases

A sharp fall in price of ginger rhizomes in the market and various diseases affecting the crop owing to climatic vagaries are the major concern of farmers who have cultivated ginger in Wayanad, a major ginger-growing region in the country.

Most of the ginger plantations, especially in the low-lying areas of the district, are under threat of fungal and bacterial wilt diseases.

The spot price of ginger in Wayanad market on Thursday was ₹1,600 to ₹1,800 a bag (60 kg) as against ₹2,500 a bag a few weeks ago. It was ₹9,500 a bag two months ago.

“I planted ginger in one acre of leased land at a rent of ₹40,000 a year around five months ago. But I am forced to carry out a premature harvest owing to the spread of the fungal disease, locally called Mahali,” Raju Parambil, a small-scale farmer at Panamaram, said.

When he purchased ginger seeds five months ago, he paid ₹6,500 a bag, the farmer added.

He had spent more than ₹4.5 lakh for the cultivation so far and was not sure whether he could recoup even a fraction of his investment. “The condition of many ginger farmers is no different,” he said.

“The climate is favourable for the spread of the disease and the unprecedented flood in the low-lying areas of the district has aggravated the situation,” he added.

The high price of ginger last year attracted many farmers to ginger cultivation. The cost of cultivation may vary from ₹4 lakh to ₹5 lakh an acre. “The disease had affected the crops in the highlands too, especially in the persisting rain,” K. Roy, a marginal farmer at Krishnagiri said.

Premature harvest

A huge arrival of the produce in Wayanad and Karnataka markets after a premature harvest was the major reason for the current fall in price, trading sources said.

“The tender rhizomes cannot be transported to faraway markets as they start to decay in two days after harvest. Hence we are selling the produce in the markets in the State itself. Moreover, such produce has no demand in the market,” the sources said.

Share If You Like The Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *