ladies fingers cultivation, Tiruchi district, low prices, farmer income

Decline in Ladies’ Fingers Cultivation in Tiruchi District Due to Price Woes

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This season, Tiruchi district has witnessed a significant reduction in ladies’ fingers cultivation, with only 71.1 hectares dedicated to the crop compared to 102 hectares last year. Farmers cite plummeting prices, dropping to ₹2 per kg last year, leading to widespread protests and impacting this year’s cultivation decisions.

K. Senthil Kumar from Therku Serpatti village expressed concern over the current price range of ₹15 to ₹20 per kg, emphasizing that rates should ideally be ₹35 to ₹40 to incentivize cultivation. Meanwhile, K. Periyasamy noted a recent price decline despite earlier promising rates, affecting profitability.

In Gandhi Market, prices hover around ₹20 per kg, reflecting oversupply from neighboring districts like Dindigul and Theni. M.K. Kamala Kannan of the fruit traders’ welfare association highlighted that higher prices, around ₹50 per kg, are needed for both farmers and traders to benefit.

Vayalur N. Rajendran of Tamil Manila Congress suggested exploring value-added products like powdered ladies’ fingers to boost demand and potentially export opportunities, urging coordinated efforts from Horticulture and Agriculture Marketing Departments.

The fluctuating market dynamics underscore challenges faced by farmers in adapting cultivation decisions to market conditions, urging sustainable pricing mechanisms and innovative product strategies.

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