Pongal bumper for banana farmers in Thanjavur as procurement price doubles

“Now they are fetching an average of Rs 450 per bunch. However, some bunches went even for up to Rs 500,” he added.

Published: 12th January 2023 05:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th January 2023 05:30 AM   |  A+A-

A farm worker stacking banana bunches near Tiruvaiyaru in Thanjavur

Express News Service

THANJAVUR: Banana farmers in areas like Tiruvaiyaru and Tirukkattupalli in the district are a happy lot this Pongal season as they say the fruit is fetching double the price of what they were sold for last year. With bananas playing a major part in the festival rituals, farmers in pockets like the aforementioned places have started harvesting the banana bunches (thaar) ahead of Pongal.

Banana is traditionally cultivated at a considerable scale in villages like Kandiyur, Valappakkudi, Vadugakkudi, Achanur, Tiruvaiyaru and Tirukkattupalli in the district. The harvested bunches are sold through auction centres in places like Tiruvaiyaru, Tirukkattupalli and Nadukkadai.

Traders from the delta region and other districts like Theni and Perambalur arrive in Thanjavur to procure banana from the farmers. M Mathiyazhagan, a farmer from Vadugakudi and the district president of the banana producers’ association, said pandemic restrictions led to the fruit being sold for Rs 200 per bunch during last year's Pongal season.

“Now they are fetching an average of Rs 450 per bunch. However, some bunches went even for up to Rs 500,” he added. The maximum price fetched during last month (December 2022) was at Rs 300 per bunch, he further said. S Kumar, a farmer from Tirukkattupalli, echoed his views of the procurement price offered by the traders being higher than last year.

When enquired of the reason for the bananas fetching a better price this year, Mathiyazhagan said the cultivation area in places like Thottiyam has come down. "Following losses for two consecutive years [from the pandemic], many farmers were reluctant," he added. He also pointed to the farmers in Tiruvaiyaru and Tirukkattupalli selling by-products like banana leaves which, he said, helps them sustain even when there a slump in demand for the fruit.


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