Good returns from ginger in past few years due to robust demand prompted Kerala farmers to lease more land for ginger in Karnataka.
The market for ginger is back on track with reduction in domestic production, according to traders.
Fresh ginger prices at the farm-gate in Wayanad have spiked to Rs 35-45 per kg from a low of Rs 15-20 in the year ago period. According to the data provided by the state-run Spices Board, advance estimate for ginger in 2017-18 is pegged at 1043130 tonne.
The production has been hit by heavy rains in Kerala and Karnataka during the monsoon, which has damaged the standing crop. Ginger rhizomes have also been affected by the soft rot disease in Mysuru, Coorg, Chikkamagaluru, Hassan and Shimoga districts in Karnataka.
“Last year, the price of ginger touched rock bottom at 1,100-1,200 for a bag of 60 kgs and farmers lost badly. This season some of them have left the practice of leasing farms and some have reduced the acreage .Farm gate prices have move up and the outlook is good,” KS Mohanan, a leading trader from Wayanad told FE. Many farms have been abandoned, as the prices were not remunerative and some switched to other crops, he added.
Good returns from ginger in past few years due to robust demand prompted Kerala farmers to lease more land for ginger in Karnataka. Currently, Coorg in Karnataka is seeing interest for ginger farming with land leases increasing substantially in Hasan district and its neighbouring places.
Wayanad and surrounding areas in Kerala, which accounted for bulk of the ginger in the 90s, have seen ginger output coming down rapidly due to labour shortage and higher input cost. But enterprising farmers from Kerala moved out to nearby places in Karnataka in the search for land and cheap labour.
Jojan Malayil, chief executive officer of Kochi-based Bafna Enterprises told FE that supplies are hard to get in the domestic market due to lower production. He estimates the market to firm up further and reach a peak by May.