The areca nut growers in the city are concerned about the fall in the price of areca after the union government allowed the import of 17,000 tonnes of green areca nut without minimum import price (MIP) condition from Bhutan every year.
Karnataka is the largest producer of areca nut and for the past few months, the price of areca nut was hovering at the record level.
While the farmers are still upset about the decision of the central government, the price of areca nut fell in the Mangaluru market on Friday.
At Campco the price of new areca nut was quoted at Rs 475 while old ones were at Rs 565.
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Meanwhile, a farmer from Puttur expressed concern over the government’s decision to import areca nut.
“The move will lead to a drop in the prices of areca nut due to which farmers like us will suffer huge loses,” he added
According to a notification of the directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT), imports from Bhutan are permitted through the land customs station of Jaigaon (INJIGB).
It is also subject to a valid registration certificate issued by the DGFT for imports.
“Import of 17,000 tonnes of fresh (green) areca nut without minimum import price condition shall be allowed from Bhutan every year through LCS Jaigaon (INJIGB), subject to valid registration certificate issued by the DGFT,” the notification stated.
The directorate has also notified the procedure for the registration certificate.
In a public notice, it said that for the second half of 2022-23, a pro-rata quantity of 8,500 MT of fresh (green) areca nut may be imported without MIP from Bhutan.
For 2023-24, a total of 17,000 MTs may be imported, it said.
Before imports, an importer will have to seek a registration certificate (RC) from the DGFT.
Under an RC, the maximum quantity allowed is 500 MTs.
The importer can apply for additional quantities once the quantities already registered have been duly imported.
“RC shall be valid for a maximum period of 6 months or the end of the financial year, whichever is earlier,” it added.
Karnataka is the largest producer of areca nut, followed by Kerala and Assam.
Domestic producers had earlier alleged that imports were increasing from neighbouring countries taking advantage of low import duty provided under SAFTA (South Asia Free Trade Agreement).
SAFTA was implemented in 2006 between India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.