Regulated coconut markets come to the rescue of farmers

The auction has removed the role of middlemen who buy for cheap and sell with a huge margin in the market

In the past two months, around 1.50 lakh coconuts have been sold for around ₹19.13 lakh through indirect auctioning held at two regulated markets in the district – Melur and Vadipatti – functioning under Agricultural Marketing and Agri Business Department. A good number of farmers are selling their coconuts at the regulated markets as they are able to earn handsome profits.

Madurai Market Committee secretary V. Mercy Jeyarani says auction at Vadipatti market is conducted every Wednesday since August 17, and at Melur on every Thursday since October 10. A total of 67 farmers have sold their coconuts at the two markets and 103 traders have taken part in the auction process.

“It was a long-time demand of farmers to conduct auctioning for coconuts at regulated markets. We have started WhatsApp groups and asked farmers and traders to participate in the auction. Since the auction has removed the role of middlemen who used to buy the coconuts at a cheap rate from the farmers and sell them with a huge margin in the market, the farmers earn good profits through auction,” she said.

Coconut plantations have been raised on around 10,000 hectares in Madurai district, mostly in Vadipatti, Sholavandan and Kottampatti. Every day, around 20 trucks of coconuts are sent from Sholavandan to Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and other States.

S. Manimaran of Vadipatti Integrated Farming System Farmers Producer Company says coconut farmers earn a tidy sum – better the quality of the nuts, more the price. Usually farmers are required to give away 150 coconuts with every 1,000 coconuts a trader buys. “But the regulated markets have put an end to this practice, and the farmers are happy as they earn more now,” he says.

Must be segregated

Ms. Jeyarani says farmers are asked to segregate the coconuts based on quality and bring them separately to the market.

“This ensures that even decent quality coconuts fetch reasonable prices, which is a big advantage to the farmers,” says M. Rajendran, president of Vadipatti Coconut Farmers’ Association. The highest bid for a coconut through the auctioning has been ₹18.

S. Durai, a farmer from Kachirayanpatti in Melur block, says an added advantage is that farmers are paid for their produce by the traders immediately after the auction. In some cases, the traders do online fund transfer to the farmer’s account or issue a cheque, says Ms. Jeyarani.

Mr. Rajendran says while there is an increase in the number of farmers selling their produce at the regulated markets, more farmers must participate in the auctioning process.

T. Perumal, national secretary, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, says prices of coconuts will stabilise in the open market if the auctioning is done every day. Ms.Jeyarani says they will gradually increase the number of days of auction after having consultantations with farmers and traders.

Source: Read Full Article