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Price forecast for Thai Pattam crops-TNAU:DEMIC

Thai Pattam (Jan-Feb) is one of the major seasons for sowing of many agricultural crops in Tamil Nadu. The crops are raised under irrigated conditions in this season. The major commercial crops sown during this season are maize, groundnut and small onion and farmers are eager to know what would be the prices of these commodities during their harvest. This information is essential to them to take a right sowing decision. To help them in doing so Domestic and Export Market Intelligence Cell functioning in Centre for Agricultural and Rural Development Studies, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University is now releasing its price forecast for these crops.


India produced 21.6 million tonnes of maize from an area of 8.67 million hectares in 2011-12. Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh together contribute 60 per cent of area and 70 per cent of maize production in India.  Karnataka produced 4.1 million tonnes of maize from 1.3 million hectares in the year 2011-12. Tamil Nadu attained fourth position in Indian maize production as against seventh a year before, because of the highest productivity of 5176.4 kg/ha and larger cultivation.  The Agriculture Department, Government of India reported that 14.89 million tonnes was produced in kharif, 2012, which was 8.19 per cent lesser than the previous year.  Trade sources reported that this year, the late monsoon has hindered the production of maize in almost all the major growing States.

Even though Maize is cultivated almost all round the year, farmers with irrigation facilities only could grow maize during Thai Pattam. The produce will come to harvest by April & May 2013. Currently in Tamil Nadu, the price is ruling around Rs.1350 to Rs.1400 per quintal. NAIP-Domestic and Export Market Intelligence Cell functioning in Tamil Nadu Agricultural University analyzed the sixteen years prices that prevailed in Udumalpet market and predicted that the price will be ruling above Rs.1450 per quintal during April to June, 2013, i.e., during harvest of Thai sown crop. The continuous demand for maize in poultry industry and good export demand will help the prices to rule around higher side. Based on this, farmers are recommended to go for maize sowing in Thai pattam and get higher prices. They are advised to sow varieties/ hybrids with bold grains to fetch better prices. In 100 gram of maize grain if the number of grains is less than 350, higher prices could be received by farmers.


India is one of the largest producers of oilseeds in the world. It ranks first in area and seventh in production at global level in oilseeds. According to the Solvent Extractors' Association (SEA) of India, the total vegetable oil imports in October 2012 was 1,036,107 tonnes, up from 993,912 tonnes in the previous month. The import forecast includes 7.88 million tonnes of palm oil, 1.20 million tonnes of soybean oil and 1 million tonne of sunflower oil during 2012-13 oil year. India imports vegetable oils from Indonesia, Malaysia and Argentina, etc.

In India, groundnut production in Kharif 2011-12 was 41.75 lakh tonnes and in 2012-13, the kharif production is estimated at 26.20 lakh tonnes as per estimates of Solvent Extractors Association of India. The major States growing groundnut are Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Gujarat occupies the first position in production (42.51 %), followed by Andhra Pradesh (13.17%), Rajasthan (13.17%), Karnataka (8.38 %), Tamil Nadu (8.38 %) and Maharashtra (4.31 %). In Tamil Nadu, groundnut is cultivated in around 4.89 lakh hectares and about 10.26 lakh tonnes of groundnut is produced with an average yield of 1775 Kg/ha. Major groundnut producing districts are Tiruvannamalai, Villupuram, Vellore, Kancheepuram, Namakkal and Erode. 

To facilitate the farmers in taking a better decision on sowing groundnut in Thaipattam, the NAIP- Domestic and Export Market Intelligence Cell (DEMIC) analyzed the past 15 year prices prevailed in Sevur regulated market. The econometric analysis of groundnut prices revealed that farmers could get a price of Rs.48 to 50/ kg of dried groundnut pods during April, May 2013. In Erode district, groundnut is mostly sold for use in confectionary and hence the prices are always higher than in other districts. Based on the above price, farmers are recommended to take their sowing decision.  

Small onion

Small onion is cultivated all through the year as it is one of the profitable vegetables. According to trade sources, this year the area under small onion has decreased because of less rain fall. According to National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF), area and production of onion in Tamil Nadu were 22,270 hectares (ha) and 3,33,870 tonnes, respectively during 2011-12. Perambalur district in Tamil Nadu occupies 24 per cent of the area under onion. The other districts cultivating onion are Tiruchirapalli, Tiruppur, Dindigul, Tirunelveli, Namakkal, Erode, Thoothukudi, Virudhunagar, and Coimbatore. Among these Perambalur, Tiruchirapalli, Tiruppur and Dindigul contribute more than 60 per cent of the onion area and production in the State.

In October, November months the arrivals were largely from stocks. Trade sources informed that due to less arrival the price has increased to Rs.40 and above in November 2012 and exports also decreased. At present the market is receiving the harvested produce from Thoothukudi, Tiruchirapalli, Dindigul and Coimbatore districts. Arrivals from Karnataka would be from February to March end. The current farm price of small onion is around Rs.30 per kg.

The farmers are enquiring about sowing of small onion in Thai Pattam. Hence, to facilitate their sowing decisions, NAIP- Domestic and Export Market Intelligence Cell (DEMIC) analyzed the past 15 year prices prevailed in Dindigul market and also conducted market surveys which revealed that the farm price for small onion will be around Rs. 22-25 per kg in April to June, 2013 i.e., during harvest. Hence it is recommended that farmers may go for small onion cultivation in Thai Pattam based on the above price.

For further details contact:

Domestic and Export Market Intelligence Cell,

Centre for Agricultural and Rural Development Studies,

Tamil Nadu Agricultural University,

Coimbatore-641 003.

Phone: 0422-2431405

For Technical Details please contact:

1. Dr.G. Nallathambi

Professor (Maize Breeding)

Centre for Plant Breeding and Genetics

Tamil Nadu Agricultural University

Coimbatore-641 003,

Phone: 0422-2450507

Cell no: 9486913279

2. Dr. K. Ganesamoorthy,

Professor and Head,

Department of Oil Seeds,

Tamil Nadu Agricultural University,

Coimbatore-641 003.

Phone No: - 0422-2450812

Mobile No: - 9360339737

3. Dr. L.Pugalenthi,

Professor & Head,

Department of Vegetable crops,

Horticulture College and Research Institute,

Tamil Nadu Agricultural University,

Coimbatore-641 003.

Phone No: - 0422-6611283

Mobile No: - 9443498469

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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.