With only a few weeks left for the ginger harvest, uncertainties in the market triggered by the COVID pandemic are threatening thousands of farmers who cultivate this crop in Wayanad and parts of Karnataka.
The abrupt closure of major ginger markets in the country coupled with a sharp fall in prices of ginger rhizomes and low production owing to crop diseases are major concerns of farmers.
The spot price of ginger in the Wayanad market on Saturday was ₹950 to ₹1,000 a bag (60 kg) as against ₹2,900 a bag during the corresponding period last year. The price went up to ₹8,000 in August last year, said Navrang Mohanan, general secretary, All India Ginger Growers Association.
“Nobody can predict when the authorities will declare containment zones in major markets of the country. Hence, we are not in a position to procure the produce in huge quantities. Moreover, we cannot stock the perishable stuff for a long time,” said a ginger dealer in Hassan, Karnataka.
Around 25,000 farmers in the state had cultivated the crop on nearly 1,50,000 hectares of leased land in Karnataka alone this year.
[ ₹100 = €1.20 ]