For the first time 8,394 coconuts sold by way auction in Madurai

It was held at the regulated market at Vadipatti

A total of 8,394 coconuts were sold through auctioning for around ₹1 lakh at the regulated market at Vadipatti functioning under the Agricultural Marketing and Agri Business Department on Monday. Officials say that this is the first time coconuts were auctioned through a regulated market in Madurai.

Deputy Director P. Vijayalakshmi said that a total of four farmers belonging to Vadipatti Integrated Farming System Farmers Producer Company sold their coconuts through auctioning.

She said that 10 traders had participated in the auction. Each trader was separately asked to write down their bidding amount. The farmers checked the prices and accepted the highest bid made by V. R. Muthupeyandi, one of the Directors of Madurai Mavatta Tennai Matrum Idhara Payirgal Producer Company- an FPO based in Chellampatti.

Each coconut was sold for ₹12 and the farmers were paid a total amount of ₹1,00,728, said Madurai market committee secretary V. Mercy Jeyarani.

S. Manimaran, one of the farmers who sold his coconuts, said that selling coconuts through regulated markets was beneficial for them. “In the open market, a coconut is sold for ₹14. However, for instance if a trader buys 1,000 coconuts, a farmer is supposed to give additional 150 coconuts free of cost. So, at the end, a coconut is sold only for around ₹12. This is an unofficial practice that is prevalent in the market,” he said.

Also, traders often do not pay money for small coconuts when they purchase directly from farmers. “But, through auctioning we were able to sell all sizes of coconuts,” he said.

Regular auctioning of coconuts through regulated markets will help to stabilise the price of coconuts in the open market, said T. Perumal, national secretary, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh. “Coconut is raised in around 10,000 hectares of the districts, mainly in Vadipatti, Kottampatti, Melur and Alanaganallur blocks. If coconuts are sold through regulated markets throughout the year, then farmers will always earn good profits,” he added.

The other advantage is that farmers can store the coconuts at the godown in the regulated market and sell the produce when they are able to fetch a good price for it, said Mr. Manimaran.

Mr. Muthupeyandi said that the coconuts bought through auction will be dried to produce oil on behalf of their Farmers Producer Organisation. “We are also planning to sell some of the coconuts to the public through our shop set up at Chokkikulam Uzhavar Sandhai,” he added.

Ms. Vijayalakshmi said that they have decided to conduct an auction for coconuts at the regulated market every Wednesday.

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