Traders form cartel, deny right price to farmers

Turmeric farmers in the district are in dire straits as they are not getting profitable price to their produce with traders allegedly forming a cartel to rig the turmeric price. Though the price per quintal this year gradually improved and settled between Rs.7,000 and Rs.7,500 it is far below the Sangli market price. In Sangli of Maharashtra, farmers are reportedly getting a maximum of Rs.12,000 per quintal, where as here the price initially when the season had begun was just Rs.4,000.

Over a period of two months it crossed Rs.7,000 which is still not profitable to the farming community given the increase in input costs in the crop cultivation.

Turmeric farmers, under the banner of the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM), alleging that the traders formed a cartel and denying the right price, lay siege to the agriculture market yard here on Tuesday. Apart from the remunerative price for turmeric they also demanded the establishment of Turmeric Board on the lines of Spices Board.

Musku Rajeswar, a turmeric farmer from Mendora village of Balkonda mandal, deplored that they were consistently incurring loss by investing thousands of rupees on turmeric crop.

There was no change in the situation in the last couple of years and only last year they could get good price, he added. Another farmer Hanmanth Reddy said that the farmers were not gaining more than the amount of their investment and despite the extent of crop sown area and the yield, the price remained the same due to “unholy” understanding among traders.