The arrival of garlic to Mettupalayam Mundies has been going on for the last 50 plus years from various hamlets (attis) and villages in the Nilgiris, Karnataka, Thimbam & Asanur (Hilly area on the border of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka), and Gundalpet. The garlic arrivals from the Nilgiris area is considered to be the premium quality due to its climatic conditional and rich soil. The price of Nilagiri garlic commands an average premium of Rs.5 over the other grades from other parts of the country.
The approximate amount of garlic arrivals in Mettupalayam are about 1000 – 3000 bags during the peak season (Jan – May, and Aug – Nov) and about 100 – 300 bags in the off season (Jun – Jul and Dec – Jan). The local retailers (approx 7) are all supplied from these mundies. The maximum storage period for this item is about 3 months. If dried (sun), the garlic turns into seed and is used for further planting. Cold storage of this item is done as it is not conducive for storage.
The garlic seeds from Nilgiris is used in other states due to its premium quality and ability to fetch a good price once harvested. The garlic is bagged in 70kgs bags and 35kgs for retails sale.