pepperKarukachal:  Small scale traders and farmers on the hilly regions are worried over the steep fall in pepper prices. During the last harvesting season, pepper was sold at Rs 700 to Rs 750 but now a kg of pepper is priced at Rs 300 to Rs 350. 

Pepper prices had increased during the last season and seeing this, farmers in Changanassery and Kurukachal regions had procured pepper on a large scale.  But with the prices coming down drastically, these small farmers are reeling in crisis. Export of pepper too is on a down trend.

The decrease in price of pepper is due to low quality pepper being imported from Sri Lanka and Vietnam, say traders. Pepper production in Kerala has come down due to the changing climatic conditions too and this had resulted in the low exports. After the last harvesting season, pepper production was low as this was due to diseases affecting the plants. Farmers are of the opinion that the agriculture department must come forward to help the farmers in distress.

The sale of pepper has come to a standstill with the production coming down. The price of pepper is now at a 3-year low and if the same state continues then the traders feel it would be difficult for them to go ahead with pepper production.