Read this special report by Down To Earth on the iconic Paan losing its appeal. Its trade has dipped 40-50 per cent in the past decade, while consumption of chewing tobacco, especially gutkha, increased during the period. Farmers now prefer other crops.
Iconic paan no more appeals to farmers, traders and common people. They say the contagious spread of chewing tobacco, especially gutkha, is fast taking over the paan market. Farmers have more reasons to shy away from the crop once referred to as green gold. Skyrocketing input costs, water scarcity and unpredictable weather mean betel gardens are no more lucrative.