Visakhapatnam: The jaggery arrival at the Anakapalle Jaggery Market in Vizag district, the second largest jaggery market in the country, is gradually dropping as the sugarcane farmers have switched to other crops.
The average supply of jaggery to Anakapalle jaggery market plunged to around 10,000 lumps per day (each lump weighs around 10 to 12 kgs) in the current season (October-2019 to April-2020.)
Usually, the jaggery season commences in the first week of October and continues till May. But, this year the jaggery season began in November due to heavy rains in September and October in 2019.
Though Anakapalle jaggery is known as the best quality of jaggery in the country for its unique taste and aroma, Anakapalle jaggery has been facing challenges from the jaggery makers of Maharashtra and Odisha.
The jaggery makers of Maharashtra and Odisha are supplying the jaggery to West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and few other states at low prices than that of Anakapalle jaggery said Satyanarayana M, a jaggery trader at Anakpalle.
The Anakapalle jaggery market had received around 18,000 tonnes of jaggery in 2016-2017, 12,000 tonnes in 2017-18 and in 2018-19, the market received only 10,000 tonnes.
The arrival of jaggery may come down to around 8,000 tones only in the current season 2019-2020 as the area under sugarcane cultivation in Vizag region has been declining said Sharath Kumar K, another jaggery trader at Anakapalle.
While the price of superior variety of jaggery touched Rs 360 per 10 kgs, other varieties, including black jaggery are selling for up to Rs 280 per 10 kga. The demand for Anakapalle jaggery had dipped as the jaggery makers of Maharashtra and Odisha are trying to capture the market by supplying low quality jaggery at low prices.
The sugarcane growers said that with the increasing input cost, erratic weather conditions and jaggery price fluctuation, sugarcane farming has been giving bitter returns. Some sugarcane farmers have shifted to other commercial crops in the region said, Gorle Ramu, a sugarcane farmer in Vizag region