TIRUNELVELI: Banana farmers in Tirunelveli district have reportedly made profit this year after three years on the trot of making losses. The crop hadn't been rewarding the farmers much either due to all the high yields coming in a particular season or with natural disasters affecting the harvest. Deputy Director of Horticulture N Balakrishnan said the pandemic had also affected the sales in the previous years. This year, however, the crop was cultivated in 5,728 hectares of land in the district, and a good harvest and price rise at the right time has brought much joy to the ryots.
Speaking to TNIE, Perungal Pasana Vivasayigal Nala Sangam president S Papanasam said, "In the last three years, banana was sold at Rs 10 - Rs 20, leaving many farmers with losses. This year, however, people had hopes for a good harvest. So, I planted the crop on 4 acres compared to last year when I cultivated it on 1.5 acres. This has given me profit. At present, banana is sold at Rs 40-45 per kilogram in Tirunelveli district, which is twice the price compared to previous years." This season's harvest is coming to an end, he added.
Another farmer from Kalakkad said that while the prices were similar to the previous years until a month ago, the situation changed this month and the price rose at the right time of the harvest. This, however, meant that a few of them who sold the crop a month ago had faced losses.
Officials at the State Horticulture department told TNIE that the area of cultivation of the crop had been increased by 400 hectares this year, compared to previous years. They pointed out that the additional income from selling banana fibres for making crafts has also helped the farmers this year, as they used to sell the fibres free of cost previously.