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Namakkal district, Tamil Nadu

Banana market witnesses dramatic slump

Namakkal district banana farmers are downcast, as the prices of their products have come down drastically. Tamil Nadu Banana Growers Federation state secretary G. Ajeethan: "Banana require nutrients and water in large quantity. However, there also exist issues such as low market realization, heavy wind, damage, diseases and pests. More than 12 varieties, including the popular Cavendish and Poovan, are grown in nearly one lakh [100,000] hectares across the State. Twenty five per cent of our sales depend on metropolitan cities. The market has collapsed due to the recent downpour and is likely to remain that way until Sabarimala pilgrimage season starts. Farmers won't harvest in November."

According to Ajeethan, the pandemic has caused heavy losses to the district’s banana growers in the past two years. "The State and Union governments have not even given any compensation so far. However, we are able to sustain and manage our livelihood only because the State government waived off crop loans," he said.

About 30-35 per cent of the yield is lost before the produce is taken to the market. That is why farmers were forced to settle for at least a low price.


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