SHIMOGA: The ban on gutka and paan masala has impacted the price of areca. The price of Rashi Areca (red areca), which touched a new high for the first time at Rs 19000 per quintal on Thursday, has started falling. It was sold at Rs 17000 to Rs 17300 per quintal by MAMCOS, a major areca trading grower’s cooperative society in the state.
Sources said the prices may fall further and may affect growers who are entirely dependent on this crop in five districts of the southern part of the state.
According to chairman of state areca growers’ welfare association RM Gowda, the ban on gutka may not affect prices much but the ban on paan masala, which contains 90% of areca, will be disastrous for growers and traders. He said the government must protect the interests of nearly 3.5 lakh growers and 5 lakh dependents. The president of CAMPCOS K Padmanabha said over 80% of areca growers in Malnad districts are small farmers with a holding of 1-2 acres and depend only on areca.