Turmeric growers were joined by sugarcane farmers as they took out a march here on Wednesday demanding that the Union and State governments announce a support price for turmeric.

Turmeric growers staged the protest under the banner of the State Sugarcane Growers' Association, and were led by Kurubur Shantakumar, State president.

Staging a protest outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner, they urged the governments to initiate steps for procurement of turmeric from growers to help them to tide over their difficulties following the slump in the price of the commodity.

Falling price

Mr. Shantakumar said that more than four lakh turmeric growers in the State had suffered due to the fall in its price from Rs. 17,000 a quintal to Rs. 4,000.

He urged the State Government to impress upon the Centre the need to announce purchase points. Governments should open warehouses as collection points of turmeric and provide 80 per cent of the total value of the product deposited at such points as interest-free loans to the growers. Electronic weighing machines should be installed at the warehouses, he added.

The protesters also demanded that Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda convene a meeting immediately to address the grievances of sugarcane growers.

If the farmers' demands were not met in 15 days, they would lay siege to the Vidhana Soudha, they warned.

Earlier in the day, the growers blocked traffic near Gun House Circle from where the procession started.

Arguments

An argument ensued when the police questioned the protesters about permission given to them to take out a procession. A senior police official had to come to sort out the matter.

The growers again expressed their displeasure at the barricades on the way to the Deputy Commissioner's office, resulting in another round of confusion. Efforts by the Additional Deputy Commissioner to address their concerns failed and they only relented after the barricades were removed and the Deputy Commissioner arrived to receive their memorandum.

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