NELLORE: The price of salt has gone up to Rs 350 a quintal from Rs 180 due to increased demand from various parts of the country, yielding profits to cultivators of Nellore. Salt is harvested at Gogulapalli, Ponnapudi Peddapalem and Isakapalli in Allur, at Kothapalem in Kavali rural, at Gopalapuram, Krishnapatnam and Nelatur in Muthukur, and at Chennarayunipalem in Bogole mandals of the district.
Allur is famous for quality salt in the country after Tuticorin and Gujarat. Salt from Nellore is exported to Karnataka, Telangana, Maharashtra and Odisha, besides meeting Andhra’s domestic demand. The average salt yield per acre is 50-60 bags (100 kg). Salt pans provide employment to about 20,000 workers. The decline in salt production in parts of Gujarat this season pushed up the demand for Nellore salt. “We will get an income of Rs 85,000 an acre at the current price,” said K Polaiah, a farmer from Allur.
The demand for traditional salt for domestic use has come down with the advent of powdered iodized salt. Industries are now the major buyers of traditional salt. Salt farmers had incurred losses during the Covid-induced lockdown due to lack of demand for their produce. The closure of hotels and restaurants also led to decline in domestic demand for salt. With the increase in demand for salt, the average daily exports have crossed 100 tonnes from Nellore district of late much to the joy of farmers.