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Demand for organic jaggery, palm sugar up
Jan 10, 2019

 The traders in the city have started stocking up organic varieties of jaggery and palm sugar (Nattu Sakkarai) for the Pongal festival this year as, they say, there is much demand for these organic items from customers.
People prepare a sweetened dish using rice, jaggery and lentils as a part of the customary celebrations of the Pongal festival, one of the most significant festivals celebrated by Tamils with full fanfare across the state. Sugarcane and jaggery play an important role in Pongal, without which the festival is not complete.
However, the production of jaggery nowadays involves various processes in which harmful chemicals are added, farmers say. Following awareness among the general public, they have started purchasing organic products including jaggery, trader in Gandhi market M D Subramani said. "Now several people prefer quality organic jaggery or palm sugar eventhough they are bit expensive. One kilogram of ordinary jaggery is priced between Rs50 and Rs60. However, people are ready to pay Rs70 to Rs80 for the organic jaggery he said.
K N Easwarmoorthi, a farmer producing organic jaggery in Erode, said that nowadays jaggery contains hydrosulphate, superphosphate and 30% to 40% of white sugar. These are all not good for health, he said. We use sodium bicarbonate in a permissible volume while making jaggery for purification. Moreover, we are raising the sugarcane in an organic method without chemicals. People can easily identify which one is genuine by its colour and taste, he said.

Times of india