{plusone} Press release 8/11/2013

Arecanut (betel nut) is the major plantation crop of the coastal and southern region of the country and the ever increasing demand for areca products like paan, supari and gutka has led to increase in arecanut prices worldwide. The area under arecanut in the country went up from 463.89 thousand hectares in 2011 - 12

to 475.89 thousand hectares in 2012-13. The arecanut production in the country in 2011-12 was 680.71 thousand tonnes and it increased to 702.96 thousand tonnes in 2012-13. The same in Karnataka was 396.10 thousand tonnes (IndiaStat) during 2012-13.

India is the major producer and consumer of arecanut in the world. It consumes 83% of world’s arecanut production.  Although production is spread across the country, six states viz., Karnataka, Kerala, Assam, Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal account for 60% of white and 40% of red varieties. The processing method, maturity and consumer preference influence the number of types of arecanut prepared. Major types of arecanut traded in Shimoga market are Saraku, Edi and Bette and depending on the Api Percentage saraku prices differ.

In Karnataka, arecanut is mainly traded in Shimoga, Bheemsamudra, Sirsi, Mangalore, Hubli, Davanagere, Bijapur, Gulbarga and Bangalore markets. Shimoga is the major arecanut market in Karnataka which handles about 5-6 lakh qtl annually. The major buyers are from upcountry markets of MP, UP and Bihar.

Based on Traders and Market survey and econometric analysis of the past twelve years monthly modal price data of arecanut (Saraku) from Shimoga regulated market, the Agricultural Market Intelligence Centre of UAS Bangalore has forecasted that the uniform sized, well dried and clean arecanut would fetch a modal price of Rs.17000 - Rs.18500/quintal, Rs.21000 - Rs.22500 /quintal and Rs.31000 - Rs.32500 /Quintal for the varieties Edi, Bette and Sarakurespectively during November 2013 to January 2014.This forecast prevails for current market sentiments. The Arecanut yield had declined by around 30 per cent in the district last year owing to poor rainfall and disease problem. This triggered a sharp increase in its price.  The Arecanut harvested this year will enter the market from November second week onwards. With an acute mismatch between supply and actual demand in the past three months, prices have increased sharply and the farmers in Shimoga and Bhadravathi taluks, where the loss due to koleroga (arecanut rot) was comparatively less, are expecting some benefit from the price rise.

The union government’s announcement of increasing the minimum import price of Arecanut from Rs. 75 to Rs.110 a kg in the second week of May triggered the northward climb in prices.

Traders also opine that the present prices are likely to prevail keeping in view of 10-15 % fall in production and arrival of new crop from November onwards.


RESEARCH TEAM

Dr.C.P.Gracy, Nagashree,N. Jyoti Naik,

Department of Agricultural marketing co-operation and business Management, UAS, GKVK, Bangalore-65.

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