The vegetable market in Mettupalayam is witnessing a high inflow of carrots. According to merchants, the volume was higher than usual in recent years. Usually during May, the market would see an inflow of 500 to 1,000 bags of carrots a day, said K Abdul Hakkeem, a wholesaler. “But this year, around 3,000 bags of carrots have been coming daily”. From the Mettupalayam market, carrots are sent to markets across Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
While the copious summer rainfall has ensured good carrot harvest in the Nilgiris, from where carrots reach the Mettupalayam market, farmers said they had also increased the acreage of carrots as they had seen good profit from the crop last season. Ramesh said, “There has been a 10% increase in yield per acre. Usually, we would harvest around 250 bags from an acre. This year we have harvested 300 bags”.
On the flip side, the boom has resulted in drastic price fall. Compared to last year, carrot price has dipped down to Rs/- 15 to Rs/- 20, say farmers and merchants. “While we invested heavily in the crop, the high production has turned adverse and has hit the prices,” said P Raju, a carrot farmer from Lovedale in the Nilgiris. However, farmers said if they had better logistics and marketing opportunities, they could see better returns.