Farmers worry over fall in cocoon prices

Procurement price has come down as traders have stopped buying cocoon due to fears of total shutdown in coming days. Many farmers in Gobi and Sathyamangalam of Erode district are involving in cocoon production.

In March last year, cocoon was sold in Salem, Dharmapuri and Ram Nagar (Karnataka) for Rs.550 per kg. The trade was suspended from the end of March to July due to the Corona general lockdown. At the end of July, a kilo was sold at Rs. 150 to Rs. 200.

The production cost of one kg of silk is Rs. 350. Farmers suffered with huge losses. In August, the price rose to Rs. 250 in Tamil Nadu, in December Rs 480-500 in TN and Rs 530 in Ramnagar (Karnataka), bringing cheer to ryots.

Prices have now come down as traders have reduced purchases due to the expected general freeze.

Tamil Nadu Silk Farmers’ Association President VK Shanmugasundaramurthy said: For the last 3 months, the price came down from Rs. 525 to less than Rs 400.

Traders have reduced their purchases of cocoon for the past 20 days amid fears that silk cloth production will fall, silk yarn prices will fall, sales will be completely paralyzed and shops will be closed if a complete general freeze is implemented again.

If the cocoon is kept for more than 5 days, the silkworm will come out of the hive and then yarn cannot be picked up from that hive. Cocoon production has been good for the last one year due to lack of rains and disease. But due to lack of prices, farmers are facing losses.

When Jayalalithaa was the chief minister, she provided Rs 10 as incentive. This incentive should be increased.

The minimum support price should be fixed so that the price does not fall. Permission must be granted for the sale even if a complete general freeze is announced as cocoon is a perishable commodity.

Last year, many sent cocoon to Salem, Dharmapuri and Ramnagar for sale. At that time only the driver of the vehicle was issued an e-pass. The farmers did not go along with him.

So, they had to sell at the price paid by the traders. He said the government should take action to prevent such a situation from happening this year.

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