Finger millet, commonly known as ragi, is becoming popular as a healthy crop. The crop is widely grown in the Africa ass a staple crop. It is one of the few cereals that needn’t be polished making it healthier than its counterparts.
More than 80 per cent of the crop is grown inKharif season. In 2015-16, India produced 17.60 lakh tonne of ragi from 10.60 lakh hectares. Karnataka is the largest producer of ragi in India, contributing to 66 per cent of the country’s production followed by Tamil Nadu (14%), Uttarakhand (9%) and Maharashtra (5%).Ragi from India is exported to Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Srilanka. Export demand for ragi exists all-round the year.
In order to assist the farmers regarding suitable sowing decision, the NIAP funded Network project on Market Intelligence, functioning in the Department of Agricultural Marketing, Co-operation and Business Management, UAS Bangalore collected the modal prices of ragi that prevailed in Hassan market during the last ten years and econometric analysis was carried out to predict the prices of ragifor 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.1500-1650 per quintal during harvest months. On the other hand, if above normal rains are received during May – June 2016, then there are chances of slight crop loss and thereby a proportionate rise in ragi prices. Further, the procurement under incentive scheme of Karnataka Agriculture Price Commission at Rs. 2100/q could also influence market prices to some extent. *This forecast strictly prevails for current market sentiments & monsoon and could vary with changes in the government procurement decision, market situation and rainfall. Farmers are advised to take up sowing of certified ragi seeds looking into the procurement policy.
Dr. M. S. Jayaram, Dr. C. P. Gracy, Dr. M. R. Girish, Mangala V Reddy and Sowmya Shree. K. L.
Department of Agricultural Marketing, Co-operation and Business Management
UAS, GKVK, Bangalore-65