SHIVAMOGGA: Over the past one week, prices of arecanut have fallen from Rs 34,000-Rs 36,000 per quintal to Rs 31,000-Rs 32,000 per quintal causing worry among the growers in the district. With Lok Sabha elections fast approaching, the growers are apprehensive as to who will come to their rescue if the prices continue to fall further.
Areca prices of all the varieties namely — bette, saraku, aapi, gorabalu, and hasa — have taken the downward route. “Price of all varieties of areca have fallen in the last 10-12 trading sessions. There is no major reason for the fall ...,” said Santhosh, a grower-cum-trader from Sugur village in Shivamogga taluk.
With areca being one of the major commercial crop of the district, political parties too are interested in protecting the interests of its growers and a fall in its prices is expected to be a major poll issue ahead of the Lok Sabha election.
Ramesh Hegde, chairman, Shivamogga Adike Belegarara Sangha, said, “Nothing has been done to protect the interests of areca growers by BJP leaders of the state and district in particular. The tag of areca being carcinogenic still continues. Now, there is a sudden dip in prices. Despite a import duty hike, the prices aren’t being checked,” he alleged.