Price of ‘nendran’ variety of plantain spiralling up

After 7 months of low prices, plantain touched ₹30 to ₹32 a kg in Wayanad market

The price of ‘nendran’ variety of plantain is spiralling in the market owing to poor arrivals and increasing demand.

After seven months of low prices, the plantain touched ₹30 to ₹32 a kg in the Wayanad market on Wednesday. The average farm gate price of the produce in the market in the past many months was ₹16 to ₹18 a kg.

The price of the commodity was ₹38-₹42 a kg during the corresponding period last year.

Plantain production in the district has shrunk considerably owing to flood in last two years and low price after the closure of markets due to the COVID pandemic last year.

Data available with the Agriculture Department reveals that nearly 12,000 hectares of land has been utilised for plantain cultivation this year as against 14,000 hectares last year.

Summer rain and heavy winds destroyed cultivation in large areas this year. According to the preliminary reports of the Agriculture Department, 6,87,605 bunched and non-bunched plantains, cultivated on 276 hectares of land, to the tune of ₹21.02 crore were uprooted in the summer rain this year.

“Wayanad district is the major contributor of ‘nendran’ variety of plantain to the State during the Onam season but, this year, the availability of plantain, especially ‘nendran’, seemed to shrink considerably,” M. Gopi, a plantain trader, said.

Moreover, many of the farmers had abandoned cultivation owing to heavy losses sustained in the last two years, he said.

“The price is not remunerative at all as the cost of production, including the price of fertilizer and rent of land, has increased many fold,” Biju, a farmer at Kottathara said. Mr. Biju planted 4,000 ‘nendran’ plantains this year, and 3,000 bunched plantains got uprooted in the rain a month ago. He had spent ₹120 per plantain, including land lease and production costs.

The condition of many farmers in the district is no different.

Trading circles in the district said the price might improve further in the coming days, as the cultivation of the plantain by Malayali farmers in various parts of Mysuru and Chamarajanagar districts in Karnataka declined considerably this year.

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