Farmers welcome establishment of Palm trade centre in TN

The farmers said that the centre would further improve the sale of palm jaggery, as it is one of the largest producers in the country.
Image used for representational purposes only
Image used for representational purposes only

RAMANATHAPURAM: After the approval of funds in the recent assembly session, the khadi craft department, to encourage the sale of palm products, has proposed a special trade centre in Sayalkudi at the cost of Rs 20 lakhs. This was well received by the farmers of Ramanathapuram.
According to official sources, Ramanathapuram is home to over one crore palm trees.

About 3,540 licensed palm tree farmers and over 10,000 workers are involved with palm jaggery manufacturing in the district. Seasonally, about 1.1 lakh metric tonnes of palm jaggery are produced here. The farmers said that the centre would further improve the sale of palm jaggery, as it is one of the largest producers in the country. 

Marimuthu, a palm farmer from Sayalkudi, said, "The government's efforts towards establishing a trade centre for palm jaggery are appreciated. But several technical difficulties have to be addressed. There are large portions of fake jaggery on the market, made from sugar. A quality assurance team should be deployed at the centre to ensure the standard of the products."
He added that the trade centre would help farmers fetch a better price for their products. As of Wednesday, while a 10 kg crate of palm jaggery is being sold at Rs 3,000 in the market, the farmers are getting Rs 2,500–2,800 per crate. This has made farmers sell their products to private agencies. 

Murugan, a farmer from Ramanathapuram, said, "Usually farmers would be taking an advance from private traders and would be selling their produce later in the season. If the proposed trade centre could have similar schemes, it would greatly benefit the farmers." He added that there are over 4,000 palm tappers in the 10 villages around Sayalkudi, and an average of 4 tonnes of palm jaggery would be produced per day. Thus, additional funds could be allotted to facilitate their production as well.

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