Idukki: Garlic harvesting started in Kanthalloor and Vattavada targetting the Onam market. Farmers are overjoyed as the first grade garlic harvested from Kanthalloor fetched Rs 200 per kg in Tamil Nadu market and upto Rs 260 in local markets.
The harvest took place in the garlic fields in Narachi, Peroomala and Keezhanthoor. As the Periyavarappalam bridge was closed for maintenance works, the first load of garlic was taken to the market in Mettupalayam in Tamil Nadu.
Inchelium and Inchelium Red varieties of garlic are cultivated in Kanthalloor. Though garlic fetched Rs 200 per kg in markets, the farmers get only Rs 180 deducting commission and transportation charges. Last year, the price of garlic was only Rs 60-90.
The Horticorp does not procure garlic from Kanthalloor and Vattavada. So, a large share of the garlic harvested for Onam is purchased by middlemen from Tamil Nadu. The same produce is later brought back to Kerala markets marked with higher price. The farmers demand that Horticorp should procure garlic.