Demand for jaggery set to increase in Madurai

Madurai: As the Pongal festival approaches, the demand for jaggery is set to soar, prompting a surge in prices from the usual ₹60 per kg to around ₹90 per kg, reported  The Hindu.

Producers in various parts of the Madurai district, including Alanganallur, Kottanathampatti, Thirumangalam, and Karumathur, are capitalizing on this seasonal demand for organic sweeteners.

Describing jaggery production as a traditional and organic practice, one of the sugarcane farmers in the region emphasizes the importance of precision in the process for a deliciously sweet outcome. In his mandi, he employs five workers who begin by crushing sugarcane to extract sap. Approximately 300 to 400 liters of sap can be obtained from a tonne of sugarcane. The extracted sap is then boiled in a broad cauldron, with regular stirring. Slaked lime (sunnambu) is added to eliminate impurities. Once the right consistency is achieved, the mixture is transferred to another vessel to cool down before being shaped into earthly brown jaggery balls.

This progressive farmer produces about 100 kg of jaggery daily from the harvested sugarcane. He regularly visits the jaggery market at Nelpettai in Madurai city to sell his produce through auctions, where prices fluctuate daily based on demand.

“The value of the jaggery depends on its darkness. the darker the jaggery, the higher its value. Apart from this the organic jaggery cannot be stored for a longer period and it is necessary to sell it every week,” explains the farmer. Despite the increasing preference for organic food and a healthier lifestyle, the sugarcane industry is witnessing a decline, with few farmers opting to plant sugarcane due to rising labor costs.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here