Economics of agribusiness in arecanut processing – an analytical study in Terai Zone of West Bengal
The study assessed the economic opportunities in agribusiness of arecanut processing based on primary data collected from 190 processing units from three districts of Terai zone of West Bengal. Both PRA and survey methods were adopted for data collection. The investigation revealed that 77.37% processing units were run by the owners using own land and 63.68% of processing units remained under single ownership. An average fixed investment of ` 96595.00 was needed for establishment of a standard arecanut processing unit having capacity of processing 715 qtls raw arecanut. The processing activities are done in two phase viz. early season from Mid-November to Mid-April for the preparation of Tipni, Rota (Red), Rota (white), Sagar etc. grades and late season starting from Mid-April to Mid-June to produce Maza, Fali and Mala grades. In early season, from the processing 625 qtls of green arecanut, 69.825 qtls processed products was obtained of which 43.25% Tipni, 30.04% Rota, 14.21% Sagar and 12.50% other grade. The net return was examined to be highest for Sagar grade (` 9977.71 q-1) followed by White Rota (` 7577.17 q-1.) with a benefit-cost ratio of 1.56:1 and 1.43:1 respectively and in late season, the Maza grade hold benefit of ¹ 1983.50/qtl and for Mala it was ` 5991.48 q-1 The average annual net return of such unit was estimated of ` 472760.38 with B: C of 1.30:1 and could generate employment of 1080.50 mandays. The said agribusiness activity may be taken as an important livelihood options for successful entrepreneurship development particularly in group approach.