Anakapalle jaggery losing ground

Anakapalle jaggery losing ground
Highlights

Anakapalle Bellam (Jaggery) Market, despite producing the second highest quantum of jaggery in the country, has been registering dwindling sales in Andhra Pradesh, with relatively newer brands from other states, particularly Maharashtra and Karnataka, edging out the time-tested brand.

Visakhapatnam: Anakapalle Bellam (Jaggery) Market, despite producing the second highest quantum of jaggery in the country, has been registering dwindling sales in Andhra Pradesh, with relatively newer brands from other states, particularly Maharashtra and Karnataka, edging out the time-tested brand.

Highlights:

  • 26 lakh lumps produced in Anakapalle market
  • Over 65% of the production now sold in West Bengal, Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
  • Anakapalle brand registers zero sales in Telangana since 2014.
  • Demand for Mandya and Kolhapur brands high in Andhra Pradesh

As things stand, Ankapalle jaggery is consumed mostly in Odisha, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and parts of Bihar, while majority of the Andhrites are using jaggery sourced from Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala.

Jaggery from Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala are known for their distinctive colour, viscosity and taste. So, bulk customers like makers of sweets invariably use them in the State.

The consumption of Anakapalle jaggery has been gradually coming down in the State since the 90s, after Maharashtra and Karnataka jaggery traders started pushing “palaka bellam” (slate model jaggery). There has been a perceptible decline in the use of Anakapalle branded jaggery in the domestic market.

Surprisingly, apart from sweet makers, even at major functions people are also not using Anakapalle jaggery, but prefer Mandya and Kolhapur jaggery brands. However, sweet lovers are still consuming Anakapalle brand jaggery in Odisha, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal. The Anakapalle Bellam Market produces 26 lakh lumps (each weighing 15/16 kgs) and exports 65% of it to Odisha, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal.

Jaggery from Anakapalle is in the shape of lumps, whereas the Kolhapur and Mandya jaggery variants are in the shapes of slates and mini lumps, including those of one-kg or two-kg weight.

That apart, following bifurcation, the sales of Anakapalle jaggery in the Telangana market is almost nil. Telangana traders are also purchasing jaggery from Maharashtra and Mandya. “Yes, there is not much demand in the domestic market. Out of total production, 65% of jaggery is being sold in other states, with lorries being the principal means of transport.

After the bifurcation of the State, the business in Telangana State is almost zero. There is no colour and taste difference between the Mandya and Kolhapur jaggery and Anakapalle jaggery. We are also educating farmers to shift from conventional jaggery making to slate shape as well as one-kg and two-kg lumps,” honourable secretary of Anakapalle Varthaka Sangham Konathala Lakshminarayana told The Hans India. However, the market potential is good in Odisha, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal when it comes to Anakapalle brand, Lakshminarayana said.

Scientists at the Sugarcane Research Institute are dismayed that most Andhrites are not consuming their own brand of jaggery. The scientists say it could be due to the methods being used to remove impurities in sugarcane juice, though it is normal in jaggery making.

Bulk sweet makers say that Anakapalle brand jaggery, presently available in lumps, is not all that good in terms of colour and viscosity upon boiling. “We are also surprised that Anakapalle jaggery sales are less in Andhra Pradesh. We are educating farmers to make organic jaggery to the maximum extent,” said PVK Jagannadha Rao, Principal Scientist of Sugarcane Research Station.

Jaggery makers are willing to make one-kg and two-kg lumps, should AP traders show interest. Since there is no market in AP, they are making lumps and selling them in other states having ready market, according to Jagannadha Rao.

By Vkl Gayatri

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