Chamarajanagar turmeric growers in a lurch

Chamarajanagar turmeric growers in a lurch

Following good price for turmeric last year, a majority of farmers cultivated turmeric this year too. This year, farmers have gone for turmeric on both irrigated and rain-fed land.

Turmeric has been grown extensively in Kasaba, Santhemarahalli and Haradanahalli hoblis of Chamarajanagar taluk and in parts of Gundlupet and Kollegal taluks.

Last year, the rate for turmeric hovered between Rs 15,000 to Rs 17,000 a quintal.

However, prices fell below Rs 10,000 in the early season this year due to fall in price in Tamil Nadu.

Adding to the woes of domination by Tamil Nadu traders, lice infestation has left the farmers worried. In other regions, the crop is decaying due to changes in climatic condition. Horticulture crops have been grown in 36,986 hectares in the district, out of which farmers have grown turmeric in about 30,000 hectares of land.

If all goes well, the turmeric yield should cross 50,000 tonnes. But, the disease that has infested the crop could pull down the yield. Due to deficient rainfall, turmeric grown in irrigated land have begun to wither.

Turmeric prices have also fell drastically in the past six months and touched almost Rs 5,000 a quintal to the dismay of farmers who have stocked turmeric hoping to get a good price. Turmeric growers believe the current prices do not even compensate the input cost of growing turmeric.

Shivabasappa, a turmeric grower slammed the state government’s helplessness on the issue. “There is no processing unit in the state, due to which we have to depend on the Erode market in Tamil Nadu. Last year’s stock is still lying in godowns. While, this year’s crop has begun to wither,” he says.

Loss to state

The recent development would also cause a loss to state exchequer. Tamil Nadu traders, who buy turmeric from farmers in the district, export it for higher prices. They also sell turmeric to Maharashtra, particularly Mumbai market and accrue good returns. The negligence of state government to tap the potential is causing loss, both to farmers and the state.

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