Low prices leave turmeric farmers in distress

By TheHindu on 24 Mar 2017 | read

The fall in turmeric price by over a half within a span of a month has left the farmers in distress.

The joy of a bumper crop has been shortlived as the price, which varied between Rs. 8,200 and Rs. 7,500 per quintal a month ago now fell down between Rs. 4,000 and Rs. 5,000. The heavy variation in price is due to the fact that it is based on national market situation and traded through the e-National Agriculture Marketing system. The traders are offering to pay a little more for the best quality turmeric.

However, only a price not less than Rs. 15,000 per quintal will fetch a profit, farmers feel. “If we sell our crop at the existing price we cannot recover even the expenditure that ranges between Rs. 80,000 and Rs. 1 lakh. The nine month crop needs huge investment including labour costs,” deplores a farmer, Vanda Narayana Komadikondur of Korutla mandal.

Long wait

The farmer has been waiting at the market yard since Tuesday to sell his harvest of 12 quintals of turmeric.

“This year turmeric has been planted in little over 30,000 acres in the district, which is one of the important crop growing areas in the country. We expect at least 80,000 metric tonne crop will come to the market,” Deputy Director of Horticulture Sunanda said.

After two years of drought there has been a good yield. However, the price is not encouraging. Turmeric too should have an MSP like paddy and maize to protect farmers, said Ganga Reddy of Sirikonda village.

Deputy Director, Marketing, K. Sangaiah said that on an average 25,000 bags of turmeric was reaching the market every day. The season would last one more month. The rate was decided based on the Commodities and Futures’ market it was unpredictable, he said.

“We cannot dictate terms to traders to purchase the crop at the particular rate. This is a traders’ market and they fix the rate online basing on (e-NAM). The best quality went for Rs. 8,000 per quintal yesterday,” he added.