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Sugarcane News: Tamil Nadu sugarcane farmers expected for better prices this Pongal.

Trichy: The farmers from Jeeyapuram, Mukkombu and Thuraiyur are upbeat. Several of them had increased the area of cultivation this year. Sugarcane farmers are getting ready for harvesting their crops as Pongal approaches and are expecting a better price this year.

At the busy Gandhi Market, the juicy and purple variety of sugarcane that is an essential part of the Pongal festivities is sold. The sugarcane arrives mostly from the outer areas of Trichy. Since last year, production of the dark variety has gone up due to the demand and also the good monsoon this year.

The rain and heavy winds during the monsoon did affect their crops but did not cause major damage, said Kumarsamy N, a farmer from Thuraiyur. He has cultivated a portion of his farmland with the dark variety.

He said, the dark variety of sugarcane is sold only during the Pongal season and there is not much use of the crop later and farmers, not the middlemen, should benefit more from the crops.

Farmers said due to many factors, cultivation in the district dropped by at least 30%. Cultivation of the edible variety of sugarcane requires a lot of patience and this makes many farmers take up other crops.

The farmer gets only Rs 100 for a bunch of 20, but the middlemen sell it for Rs 300-350, said V Neelakandan, Perambalur district secretary of the Tamillaga Vivasyigal Sangam.

Prices vary depending on the arrivals from Trichy and the central districts. During Pongal, the prices of the edible dark variety tend to rise, said A Mugilan, a fruit vendor.