Areca nut | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Panthalam: The price of ripe areca nuts hit a record high. The retail price has crossed Rs 10 per areca nut. The merchants said that the cost of areca nuts has never risen to such a level. Most of the areca nuts being sold at high price in the state lacks quality.
The wholesale dealers claim that the change in climatic conditions led to the steep price hike of this tropical crop. Areca nuts are brought from Rajapalayam in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, once areca nut season in Kerala ends. However, the torrential rainfall has caused the current rise in price. Areca nuts which cost below Rs 100 for a kilogram earlier fetch over Rs 200 now.
Only 20 to 25 areca nuts will comprise a kilogram. With the increase in price, unripe and spoiled areca nuts are also mixed and sold.