Turmeric turns bitter pill again for farmers

Turmeric turns bitter pill again for farmers

The ongoing Cauvery agitation has not only disrupted vehicular traffic between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, but also has a negative impact on the inter-state trade.While the vegetables and flowers are rotting with no prospective buyers, the slump in turmeric prices has caused worry among the growers.

Even as protests against release of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu is gaining momentum across the district, Tamil Nadu too has barred entry of vehicles carrying goods via national highway 209 into its borders as a precautionary measure.

As a result, transport of vegetables, turmeric, coconut and other goods from the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) yard here has come to a standstill.

Turmeric trade is being held in the APMC yard once in a week and growers sell about 1,500 quintals of turmeric on the day. Turmeric was sold between Rs 3,800 to Rs 6,500 per quintal last week. But the market rate on Thursday was Rs 2,500 to Rs 5,500 per quintal. Within a week the market has seen a slump of Rs 1,000 per quintal.

The main reason for the plummeting of prices is the halting of inter-state vehicular traffic. Moreover, traders from Erode, Satyamangalam and other places are not visiting the district for bulk purchase. This is said to be one of the reasons for the prices coming down, leaving the farmers distressed.

The state government has failed to set up a godown at the APMC yard here on lines of Erode, which has latest storage and marketing facilities. This has resulted in fluctuation of turmeric prices here.

Loss to APMC

The agriculture produce from the APMC is supplied to Tamil Nadu and a fee is levied on goods vehicles entering the yard. The collection, which is said to be around Rs 35,000 on normal days, had come down drastically.

Earlier, approximately two lakh coconuts were transported to Tamil Nadu and the APMC was making money even in the auction process. Now, the trade here has taken a beating due to the Cauvery stir.

The loss to the market is estimated to be about Rs 1.5 crore over the past one week.

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