BENGALURU: The annual groundnut fair or Kadalekai Parishe, which started at Basavanagudi on Monday, is attracting thousands of people this year too. However, the prices of groundnuts are considerably high due to insufficient rains.
Chidananda R S, a regular at Kadalekai Parishe, said, “Last year, one seru (equivalent to 1.56 litres) was `20 but this year it has increased to `30. Every year the price increases by up to `5. But this year it is up by `10 per seru.”
Prajwal Reddy, another visitor, pointed out that this year not many growers are participating in the fair. “Every year, you see growers and vendors on DVG Road, Hanumanthanagar, 50 Feet Road, Ramakrishna Ashrama and the surrounding areas. This year, however, the heaps of groundnuts are visible only at a few places,” he said.
Groundnut farmer Venkateshaiah, who came all the way from Pavagada, said there was hardly any rain this monsoon. “It takes three months for the crops to grow, starting from monsoon. We sowed in July, but with no water the flowers which were supposed to bloom in September fell off. The yield was at least 30 per cent lesser compared to the previous years,” he said.
Narayana Reddy, president of Bengaluru North Farmers’ Association, said normally groundnut growers who participate in the annual fair are from Pavagada, Madhugiri and Kunigal in Tumakuru district and from Magadi and Ramanagara among other places. “These are rain-dependent places. But this time, the rains were deficit by at least 50 per cent. So naturally the yield is affected,” he said.
According to Reddy, there are over 10 lakh groundnut growers in Karnataka.
“This year, those who have borewells got some yield. But the farmers who are dependent on rainwater did not get enough yield,” he added.