July 1, 2019
Kochi: Cardamom prices have skyrocketed to about Rs 3,000 per kg but to no avail of poor farmers.
The increase is of about 400 per cent from Rs 700-800 prevailing about a couple of years ago, farmer scientist Reji Njellani told The Covai Post.
The increase was due to heavy shortage in production in Idukki and other areas in the State due to extreme summer experienced this year.
There was a time a few years back when farmers had with them huge stock of unsold cardamom due to price not reaching anywhere near their cost of production.
If production is good, the price is unattractive and when the price goes up there is little cardamom for sale, he lamented.
Now it is hard to find small farmers with even 1 kg of cardamom stock.
“Normally, we used to get summer rain which helps in nurturing the crop. This time there was hardly any rain, lowering production which has fallen by about 50 per cent this year. Last year, production was about 20,000 tonnes which has slumped to about 10,000 tons.
The benefit is going to those controlling the market, he says. They call the shots in the auctioning centres at Puttady in Idukki and Bodinaikannur in Tamil Nadu.
The condition of small growers is pathetic as the government has no policy to identify such farmers and help them tide over the situation.
It is important to note that in 2015, Kerala incharge national secretary of BJP H Raja said at a function at Nedumkandam in Idukki that the party would work towards implementing MS Swaminathan’s suggestion to fetch farmers product cost plus 50 per cent as remuneration at.
Raja had said the issue of setting up a committee to find out the actual production cost of cardamom would be taken up with the Government.
The meeting organised to discuss the problems of the farmers where growers fumed against the government for not taking steps to estimate the production cost after 2007. Unfortunately, everything has remained only in paper, say growers.