Turmeric farmers are planning to establish a body on the lines of the National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) to protect their interests in the wake of frequent crash in turmeric prices. A decision on launching the turmeric farmers’ initiative on the model of NECC will be announced at the national turmeric growers’ convention at Erode in Tamil Nadu on July 21. About one lakh growers from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and other States are expected to participate.
Disclosing this to The Hindu , State Sugarcane Growers’ Association president Kuruburu Shanthkumar, who has been appointed the general secretary of the Turmeric Farmers’ Association, India, said that an announcement on determining the price of turmeric by its growers would be made at the conference. Price of turmeric would be fixed by growers just as price of eggs is determined by the NECC that is run by a group of farmers.
“Price crash, market instability, middlemen menace and other factors have forced turmeric growers to come together and fight for their cause,” he said, adding that turmeric is cultivated on 2 lakh hectares of land in Karnataka. Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Hassan, Belgaum, Gulbarga and Mandya are among the turmeric growing districts.
Mr. Shanthkumar said turmeric growers will fix the price of turmeric and it would be reviewed once a week. All the price related details would be uploaded on the website of the Turmeric Farmers’ Association, he added.
“This way, we want to protect interests of the growers who spend lots of money on cultivating turmeric. They will be in distress if they do not get a suitable price for their produce,” he explained.
Mr. Shanthkumar said the prices of turmeric have increased in view of fall in production due to drought last year. With drought continuing this year also, turmeric production is set to decline further, he added.
The price which was around Rs. 3,000 per quintal a couple of months ago has gone up to Rs. 6,000 per quintal. There are possibilities of further increase in price with short supply of the produce in the market.
Farmers sold their crop at the purchase centres opened by the State government in Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Hassan, Shimoga, Gulbarga, Belgaum at Rs 5,100 a quintal, Mr. Shanthkumar said.
Thanks to the increase in demand for turmeric and the lucrative price it fetched a couple of years ago, farmers in many parts of the State had switched over to the crop. But, these farmers were put to hardship because of sudden fall in its prices.
Turmeric fetched a record Rs 17,000 a quintal two years ago.
With standard practices in its cultivation, the yield of turmeric per acre would be at least 20 quintals.