Kothagudem: The increase in prices of palm fruit bunches is encouraging farmers to go for palm tree cultivation in place of traditional crops. This is evident largely in Dammapet and Aswaraopet areas.
The price of palm fruit bunches per tonne is Rs 17,341 as of now. This is the highest price so far and there were occasions in the past when the farmers demanded an increase in the price from Rs 10,000.
The price of palm oil fruit per tonne went up from Rs 10,809 to Rs 12,031 per tonne in March last year. The hike then was a record of sorts.
The continuous increase in the price is tempting farmers to go for palm tree cultivation in larger areas. Palm tree cultivation is spread over 50,000 acres in Dammapet and Aswaraopet mandals at present.
The case of Thota Satyanarayana in Mustibanda village in Dammapet mandal is worth citing. Satyanarayana said he raised palm trees on his five acre land. In the past, he raised maize.
Palm tree cultivation will cover nearly 3,000 acres this year. Farmers are buying the saplings from private nurseries as the government nurseries failed to supply them as per demand.
Jakkam Srini, another farmer, took the same decision as Satyanarayana.
The lease amount for palm tree cultivation has increased to Rs 80,000 per acre from Rs 50,000. Adapa Lachaia Dora, who has ten acres under palm, said, “The palm tree stands in the list of most profitable horticulture crops and the price is very encouraging. I knew farmers moved earth and heaven to increase the price of palm fruit bunches by Rs 200 per tonne.”