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White arecanut packs launched in Mangalore

Our Bureau

Mangalore , Sept. 21

TO reach the consumers directly and to minimise the number of middlemen in the arecanut market, Mangalore Agriculturists' Souharda Sahakari (MASS) Ltd launched 1 kg and 2 kg packets of white arecanut in Mangalore on Tuesday.

Releasing them here, the President of MASS Ltd, Mr Sridhar Bhide, said that MASS has introduced the 1 kg and 2 kg packets of white arecanut in select markets in the country, and the response for them is encouraging.

"We are not claiming that we have eliminated middlemen in arecanut market. However, we have brought down their number," he said. MASS wants to have direct contact with consumers in the arecanut market with its quality products, he said.

He suggested that the establishment of an arecanut consumers' cooperative might help in eliminating middlemen from the market.

Considering the demand for quality white arecanut in Gujarat and Maharashtra, MASS is planning to open its sales depots in Ahmedabad and Sangli. Mr Bhide said that MASS has already conducted a survey in this regard. These depots will be opened by November, he said.

MASS, which was set up in 2000 after the crash in the prices of arecanut, has tried its best to stabilise the market, he said. It has been directly purchasing arecanut from the growers in Mangalore, Sullia, Puttur, Savanoor, Vittal, Dharmasthala, Ujire and Karkala.

The President of the South Canara District Central Cooperative (SCDCC) Bank Ltd, Mr M.N. Rajendra Kumar, who symbolically handed over one-kg packets of arecanut to the sales agents from Bhavnagar, Surat, Pune and Cuttack, said that MASS was set up to stabilise arecanut market. MASS should not be construed as an alternative to Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative (Campco) Ltd, he said.

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