In News: A Lok Sabha member from Shivamogga district in Karnataka, urged the Centre to levy a hefty import duty on arecanut to check falling prices in the domestic market.
- In September 2022, the central government allowed the import of 17,000 tonnes of green (fresh) arecanut from Bhutan without minimum import price (MIP).
- Crop loss – About 35-40 per cent of the crop has been affected in 2022 – highest crop loss since 2013
- The cultivation of arecanut is mostly confined to 28º north and south of the equator.
- It grows well within the temperature range of 14ºC and 36ºC and is adversely affected by temperatures below 10ºC and above 40ºC.
- Arecanut is capable of growing in a variety of soils
- June – December is found to be the optimum.
- Karnataka produces around 80 per cent of the country’s arecanut,
- Arecanut is considered a horticulture crop in Karnataka, a commercial crop at the national level and a dry fruit at an international level.
- Average yield of different varieties of arecanut vary between 10-20 quintals per acre (0.4 hectare).
- MIP on arecanut was first introduced in 2012 to restrict unabated import and prevent entry of inferior quality arecanut into the Indian market, thereby destabilising the domestic prices.
- In the last three years, import of arecanut has taken place mostly from Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
- However, this time 17,000 tonnes is being allowed to be imported from Bhutan alone.
- Large areas under the crop have been damaged by yellow leaf disease, blast disease and fruit rot disease, especially in Shivamogga, Dakshina Kannada and Chikkamagaluru districts.
Minimum Import Price (MIP):
- MIP is the rate below which no imports are allowed.
- Imports without MIP or at low rates threaten the domestic prices and lead them to crash.