Daijiworld Media Network – Puttur (MS)
Puttur, Oct 1: The union government has agreed to import of 17,000 tonnes of raw areca nut from Bhutan without any restriction of minimum import price has caused concern in the areca nut market of the taluk.
From the past few months the price of areca nut was hovering at record level and the decision of the central government has upset the farmers. Complimentary to this decision of central government, the price of areca nut fell in the Mangaluru market on Friday.
In outside market the new areca nut was quoted at Rs 482 while old ones was at Rs 565. At Campco price of new areca nut was quoted at Rs 475 while old ones was at Rs 565.
A minimum import price of Rs 251 per kilo was fixed for areca nut imported from overseas countries in order to give recognition to indigenously grown product. But this rule is violated in case of Bhutan. This will cause many ill effects.
In the past, as the government gave permission to import areca nut under south Asia free trade agreement, the local arecanut prices slumped. Now the farmers fear the repetition of the same.
As there are not ports in Bhutan, the areca nut needs to be brought through road transport to Jayagaon port of West Bengal. So there is an argument that the cost of transportation will be high. According to experts, areca nut farming began recently in Bhutan and the quality of the product is also not good. In one quintal arecanut the possibility of getting even a quarter of dried areca nut is doubtful. So it might not have any effect on the local market, say the experts.