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Erode Turmeric suffers demand as farmers swift to cash crops.

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“On an acre of land a farmer may get 20 quintals but he has to spend ₹1.50 lakh as cultivation cost/acre. Now the crop is selling at ₹5,500-6,000 a quintal and the farmers are not able to get their cultivation and  incurring huge loss.”

Erode district of Tamil Nadu had been witnessing as a second largest Turmeric producer in some years back, next to Nizamabad and the turmeric trade was also flourishing then. However, now the trade is in a apprehension state due to poor demand, both locally and from country wide markets.

This may be due to the huge supply of good quality turmeric at the cheaper prices from other States in the country. Even the local Masala manufacturing firms are importing turmeric from neighboring  states like  Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra due to lower price.

Mr. RKV Ravishankar, President, Erode Turmeric Merchants Association, said that “For the past couple of years we are seeing demand dropping consistently, so we are cautiously quoting the price and buying them. The spice was cultivated over about 70,000 acres of land in Tamil Nadu but now it has reduced to almost to half (40,000 acres), and have shifted over to cultivation of other cash crops like banana”.

Diminishing share

Further, he said that every year state’s share was about 10 lakh bags (of 70 kg each) of turmeric, but now there are only about 7- 8 lakh bags approximately that come to local market. In addition, all the traders in North India are having a huge stock and so they have decreased the buying the this spice commodity.

“Once upon a time turmeric was considered a golden crop for the Erode farmers, but now for want of getting reasonable price they have neglected the cultivation. On an acre of land a farmer may get 20 quintals but he has to spend ₹1.50 lakh as cultivation cost/acre. Now the crop is selling at ₹5,500-6,000 a quintal and the farmers are not able to get their cultivation and  incurring huge loss.”  said, C Nallasamy, President, Lower Bhavani Project Ryots Association.

He further added that at present the turmeric is cultivated over 14,000 acres in Erode district alone and to encourage farmers to grow more turmeric balance the demand supply fluctuation, the State Government has decided to start a “Turmeric Centre” near Modakurichi town.

MSP demand

Erode turmeric traders association says that the upcountry demand is decreasing every year. Last year, finger variety was sold at ₹6,000-6,500 a quintal and this year too it is selling at about ₹6,000. Erode Turmeric growers are demanding that the government to procure all the turmeric directly from farmers at ₹10,000 a quintal to assure the Minimum Sales Price.

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