Cultivators in Erode are happy with the procurement price of turmeric. Photo: M. Govarthan
Turmeric cultivators have approached the New Year with happiness and a sense of optimism over the positive signs in the market conditions.
In Erode district where finger and root varieties are traded, the price for a quintal has breached the Rs. 9,000 mark, and cultivators expect the trend to improve further, in view of a combination of factors that includes reduction in production area in the region, and the declined output in other States.
A few months back, the procurement was made at 30 per cent to 40 per cent lesser than the prevailing prices at the four auction centres in the district operated by the Erode Turmeric Merchants Association; Regulated Marketing Committee; and Erode and Gobichettipalayam Cooperative Marketing Societies.
“The price is indeed favourable. But, in the long-term, we would prefer fixation of procurement cost on the basis of Dr. M.S. Swaminathan Committee recommendation: cost of production plus 50 per cent,” said P.K. Deivasigamani, president of Turmeric Farmers' Association of India.
Turmeric cultivators have made their preference known for the integrated complex at Karumandichellipalayam constructed by the Regulated Marketing Committee.
The long-pending demand of the cultivators for auction under a single roof was highlighted at the farmers' grievance meet chaired by the District Collector S. Prabakar last week.
Farmers’ associations have moved the High Court for such a facility with a plea that cultivators are facing losses because of turmeric auction at four places in the district.
Private auction centres do not augur well for the welfare of turmeric cultivators, Mr. Deivasigamani said.
The desire of the farmers is that the integrated turmeric complex created by the State Government at Karumandichellipalayam near
Perundurai at an investment of Rs. 19 crore must be given a functional status at the earliest.
The demand for the facility has been pending for the last 15 years.
The proposal made initially for such a market in Perundurai SIPCOT complex in 1999 did not materialise.
The present government pursued the issue in right earnest and expedited clearances for construction of the integrated market complex at Karumandisellipalayam with state-of-art facilities.