Vanilla prices soar high: touch Rs 40,000
Ambalavayal: After a decade, vanilla prices soared sky high once again. The days when vanilla fields had night watchers and electric fences is set to return. The prices have touched Rs. 40,000 for the top quality dry product and fetches a minimum of Rs. 3000 for green fruits.
Despite its quick ascend to fame the vanilla production in the state had dropped drastically in the recent years since the prices hit a rock bottom of Rs 50 per kilo. Several farmers moved to other crops and very few still maintain a few vanilla creeper plants. The market demand for vanilla of any grade is a minimum of Rs. 10,000.
Grade A,B and C together are fetching anywhere between Rs. 3000-4000 for the unsorted green fruit. Thereafter they are graded according to the colour and fragrance. The ones which have high content and is seven inches long fetches Rs. 40,000. Several farmers have already sold their produce to sellers at very low costs unaware of the high market price.
The next grade fetches Rs, 30,000 and the lowest grade used for making drinks fetches Rs. 10,000-20,000. The vanilla wholesalers are mostly based out of Wayanad, Idukki and Ernakulam districts and Pollachi, Bengaluru and Sringeri. From here the product is shipped out to Europe. In 2005, riding on the high prices the supply had shot up to 15 to 20 ton per day. With a drop in price it fell to 1000 kgs this season.