Finger millet, commonly known as ragi, is a staple cereal widely grown in the African and Asian continents which is a major substitute for rice among the diabetic patients and also the diet conscious people. It is one of the few cereals that needn’t be polished making it healthier than its counterparts.
In 2013-14, India produced 1.88 million tonne of ragi from 1.38 million hectares with an average productivity of 1641 kg per hectare. Around 80 per cent of the crop is grown in Kharif season. Karnataka is the largest producer of ragi in India, contributing to 67 per cent of the country’s production followed by Tamil Nadu (11%), Uttarkhand (9%) and Maharashtra (7%). In Karnataka the area under the crop was 8.34 lakh hectares leading to a production of 1.31 million tonne in 2012-13. Export demand for ragi exists all round the year.
To help farmers in taking a right decision on sowing of ragi, the Network project on Market Intelligence (NCAP) New Delhi, functioning in the Department of Agricultural Marketing, Co-operation and Business Management, UAS Bengaluru collected the modal prices of ragi that prevailed in Hassan market during the last eleven years and econometric analysis was carried out to predict the prices of ragi for the harvesting months. Also an opinion survey of ragi traders and farmers was conducted.
Based on the analysis and market survey, it is forecasted that ragi would fetch a modal price of around Rs.1300-1400 per quintal during harvest months. This forecast prevails for current market sentiments & monsoon and could vary with changes in the market situation, rainfall and government policy. Further, the Karnataka Agricultural Prices Commission is likely to procure ragi at Rs.2000/qtl. Therefore, farmers are advised to take up sowing of certified ragi seeds for better price realization.
Dr. M. S. Jayaram, Dr. C. P. Gracy, Dr. M. R. Girish,
Dr. Sakamma S, Mrs. Mangala V Reddy
Department of Agricultural Marketing, Co-operation and Business Management
UAS, GKVK, Bangalore-65