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The farmers who cultivate the tubers either sell them directly in the local markets or they sell it to the middleman, reports Bhiva P Parab

Tubers in demand in Goan markets

These days various varieties of tubers such as ‘Maddi’ (colocasia tuber) and ‘Churana’ (elephant foot yam) are making their presence felt in the various markets. Demand for the locally grown tubers is good, especially from produce grown locally, in and around the villages.

The price of the tubers generally depend on the size and quality and also the demand. Generally the ‘Churana’  may cost somewhere between Rs 60 to 100, while a small size will cost around Rs 150 to Rs 200 and a medium ‘Churana’ will cost Rs 200 to Rs 350 and bigger size will be priced at around Rs 350 to 500 or even more again depending on the market.

The ‘Maddi’ price also varies according to the size and the price generally range from Rs 80 to Rs 250 depending on the size, while the local variety of ‘Maddi’ are little costly than those brought from outside the state, especially from the neighbouring state of Karnataka.

The demand for the ‘Kate Kange’ (hairy potatoes) is quite good, according to farmers.  They said that, they earn more money for the bigger ‘Kate Kange’ due to its better taste. About eight to 10 bigger ones are sold at Rs 100, while around 10 to 15 smaller ones are sold for Rs 50. Some vendors even sell these ‘Kate Kange’ in kgs and they price it around Rs 80 to 100 a kg.

The ‘Karanay Muna’ are also priced at around Rs 80 to 100 a kg. The farmers who cultivate these ‘Kate Kange’ either sell the ‘Kate Kange’ directly in the local markets or they sell it to the wholesalers and then these ‘Kate Kange’ goes to the various markets and the farmers after keeping aside whatever is required for the self consumption and for seed purpose the remaining is sold in the market, according to the information available from the sources.

A vendor went on to say that recently variety of tubers have started entering the various markets of the state and there is quite good demand for these and the rates vary according to the demand and supply of the tubers and we have to make some profit after selling the tubers and this profit is our earnings for the day, so naturally when we incur higher cost at the source the rate will be higher at the markets also and these days the rates of tubers are high as just they have entered the markets, however it is not that the rates will remain high forever, they go on fluctuating.

“The prices varies according to the quality and size and the prize also depends on the quantity available, the demand for the tubers in the market is also a factor which determines price and the local tubers are quite in demand in the state and so there is quite good rate for these,” said a vendor, and added, “Some people especially ask for the local tubers which are locally grown.

It may be noted that in the city markets in the state the tubers are little costly than the local village markets as there is also transportation cost which adds to it and so their price increases in the city.”

It may be noted that some village people grow tubers and sell it directly in the markets or they sell it to the regular vendors who sell their products in the various markets of the state and if they sell directly in the markets they get more money.

There is scope for commercial cultivation of tubers in the state and it is the younger generation who should come forward and take interest in the farming activities and work in the agricultural field and if they come forward the tuber cultivation could be done on large tracks of land. The tubers being hardy crop can stand adverse condition and does not spoil easily in too much rains and also if there is dry spell, however the farmers have to take good care of the seed so that they are available during the next season for cultivation and the seed which is required for the cultivation has to be maintained by the farmers themselves, it is learnt from the sources.

“I feel local tubers are very good for health as they are grown with hardly any use of chemical manure and these have been eaten by generations and now we are losing these tubers due to fast development due to which fields are getting destroyed and earlier during our younger days during this time of the year we were dependent on some wild vegetables, tubers  and locally grown vegetables and recently the tubers coming from outside Goa are slowly capturing the markets in the state,” said an elderly woman.

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