Traders making Rs 2.5 crore turnover a day from Kadalekai Parishe
BENGALURU: A walk through Bengaluru’s Kadalekai Parishe (groundnut fair) would make you wonder drought and demonetisation what? About 600 farmers and traders from nearby villages as well as Tamil Nadu have dotted the Bull Temple Road and its surroundings with over 2,500 stalls.
Estimates suggest that traders are collectively making hay with a turnover of around Rs 2.5 crore a day , with an average of Rs 10,000 per trader. But “that’s conservative“, said Basavanagudi MLA LA Ravi Subramanya, because it excludes sales of artefacts, toys and clothes. “Without exaggeration, I can say the Parishe has a turnover of more than Rs 10 crore over four five days,“ he said.
Customers’ sentiments too reflect the vibrancy . K Gopinath, 65, a retired PWD engineer, said he hasn’t missed the fair for the past 40 years. On Tuesday , he had enough change on him to buy whatever his five-year-old granddaughter asked for. “There’ll be a problem if I use Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 notes. It’s all about adjusting.“
But it isn’t a nutty delight for everyone. Rajendra, a trader from Srinagar near Basavanagudi, has been camping at the fair for the past three decades with 100-150 sacks of groundnut he sources from Tumakuru and Tamil Nadu. “I’m able to sell Rs 15,000-20,000 worth of groundnuts a day ,“ he says. “This is less because I made Rs 30,000 earlier.“
Small traders like him have had to cough up more for a 60-kg sack of groundnuts, which now sells for anywhere between Rs 5,000-Rs 7,000 compared with the earlier Rs 3,000-Rs 4,000.
Demonetisation did not stop Arumugam, a trader from Tamil Nadu, from bringing Rs 1.5-lakh worth groundnuts and fruits to the fair.“We’re more worried about breaking even because I paid Rs 5,000 for one sack whereas I’m selling groundnuts for Rs 30 per seru (equal to 1.56 litres),“ he pointed out. With competition, in creasing the sale price is not an option and he may end up with loss.
Federation of Farmers’ Association of Kar nataka convenor Kuruburu Shantkumar explained how traders are making the most of demonetisation at the expense of groundnut farmers who are not finding enough buyers: “If one seru is selling at Rs 30, then the farmer’s share would be just Rs 10. Say , farmers sell a quintal of groundnut at Rs 4,000, traders sell it for Rs 8,000.“
As for groundnut farmers, the lack of rain took precedence over demonetisation. “We’ve had groundnut crop losses in 4-5 lakh acres all over Karnataka due to bad rains,“ said Bengaluru North Farmers Association president Narayana Reddy .
Business apart, the fair, which is believed to get over six lakh footfalls at present, has kept pace with the modern times. This year, the city police have allotted numbers for each stall. “This is to ensure security of both traders and visitors,“ Sunkenahalli corporator DN Ramesh said.
From the 12th century , the earliest record of the Parishe -when peanut-growing farmers of Basavanagudi came together to offer their crop produce to the Bull Temple -to now, a long journey indeed.
Source: ECONOMIC TIMES