ARECANUT TRADING SECTION
Another prominent section run by the society performing several supplementary activities to promote areca sales is areca trading division. This was established in the year 2003. The Section comprising three floors entirely utilized for trade support activities.
TSS is a giant purchaser of red and white areca nut by participating in tender. It procures required quantity of areca from branches and even from private traders and Kramcop to meet current demand. As TSS is marketing areca nut in different brands, the procuring, storing, grading, packing, branding and loading activities are carried out here. This building also comprises of four cold storing rooms to stock pepper and areca which helps in reduction of loses in weight due to variation in climatic conditions, temperature and moisture levels.
White verity (Chali) is the result of fully grown nuts dried in sunshine for 45 days and then it is peeled. Further chali is sub graded to suit consumption pattern. Raaschali is graded in to bile gotu, Koka, Kalwar and chali by farmers. Chali is graded by traders based on size, quality and texture into A1(moti), A2(vachras), A3(Jam), A4(jini) and A5, A6 which are quite insignificant in quantity. The second quality of chali includes A114,A115,A116,A117. The first qualities (A1-A5) are used mainly in retail market by pan shops. It is supplied mainly to states like Gujarat, Maharastra, Dehli and parts of Uttar Pradesh,Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. TSS sells its raw arecanut in graded form in brands like TSS Tiger, TSS Arjun, TSS Gold in packs of 65 KG/30 KG wholesale,10 KG retail.
The Second qualities of chali are mainly consumed by pan masala manufacturers and some sweet supari manufacturers. In red verity Sanna Raashi is supplied to Pan masala manufacturers across India, Barada and Dappapi are supplied to retailers in north Karnataka, whereas aapi is consumed in Rajastan where it is used for a number of occasions ranging from giving strength to pregnant women, to tide over water crises during summer by putting a bite in the mouth for salivation.
TSS also supplies cut chali in various shapes called Slice, Mamry and Diamond cuttings in packages of 500 gms,1KG and 40 KG wholesale bag for easy uses of betel nut in pan shops. This helps the institution to hedge against price variations in arecanut by getting better price for the second quality chali.
Recently the institution has obtained Geographical indication(GI tag) for "SIRSI SUPARI" which signifies the unique characteristic of betel nut grown in Sirsi, Siddapur and Yellapur areas and it is expected that this significance will help the institution in furthering the importance of betel nut of this region at consuming channels.
Arecanut has two basic verities- Red verity (Raashi) is obtained by harvesting green nuts, peeling them and boiling them till its eyes come out. Further it is sun dried for about 10 days before it is further graded in to sub verities according to market demand. Trader further categorizes Raashi in to Barada (bette),Raashi (SannaRaashi ),Dappapi and Aapi.
White variety of arecanut /Chali is then fumigated in order to get them sorted for quality which is done manually currently and it is also graded according to sizes .TSS primarily acts as a commission agent on behalf of its farmer members. It arranges for auction of betel nut, black pepper and cardamom where in APMC registered traders come to the auction hall and bid their price; the highest bidder takes the lot. Here the farmer has the option to stock his produce or sell immediately, he can take pledge loan also if he wants to wait for the right price. In the auction hall the farmer is issued a rough weighment slip immediately after arrival and he is issued proper invoice for the sale by evening after the final weighment is over. He is not charged anything accept weighment charges. If the price is not satisfactory he can cancel the bid before final weighment and wait for the price. This is the most transparent and oldest system of auctioning for any agricultural produce in India. The trader who buys the produce in the auction need not have to pay on the spot ,his purchased arecanut is kept as collateral in the TSS godowns and he is financed for his purchase and subsequently on the same day the farmer-seller is settled by TSS through its own funds into the farmers account maintained with the institution.
Here, the institution also participates in the auction like other traders in order to safe guard the grower from trader taking advantage of any adverse market situation and eventually TSS ends up buying around 35 % to 40% of the total produce auctioned. This acts as a sort of market intervention program to maintain stability in price of areca nut and TSS has its own grading and sorting facility through which it brings out reliable quality raw graded betel nuts into the consuming centers. TSS is able to command a premium price for its brands of Raw betel nuts through consistent quality and reliable supply chain.
The capacity of the go-down is about 25000 bags of 50 k.g. The purchases made in tender is shifted immediately on the same day to this section from areca sale yard through office vehicles. The areca bought through tender in branches are also shifted here for grading. More than 200 labourers are found working here on an average and they are paid on piece rate and quantity basis. Grading is done both by using machines and manually. In the midst of competition constituted by co-operatives and private traders engaged in similar business TSS has established its brand image through quality products and constant supply in Indian market. Areca from Sirsi are sold in different markets of India in various brand names. It is a milestone that a small quantity of white variety is regularly exported to Mauritius (Country in East Africa) from 2017.