Turmeric farmers in the country have come together to form a national council to regulate the prices of their produce.

Farmers associations from major turmeric producing States have floated “Turmeric Farmers Council of India” that will fix a floor price for the yellow spice and, if required, intervene in the market to procure turmeric at viable prices. The council has been modelled along the lines of the National Egg Co-ordination Committee.

The first co-ordination meeting of the council was held in Erode on Tuesday with the participation of representatives from turmeric farmers associations in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The council members had decided to conduct a national level conference this year to announce the floor price for turmeric. “The move was taken in order to protect over 2.5 lakh turmeric growers in seven major turmeric producing States in the country. Former President APJ Abdul Kalam had agreed to participate in the conference. We will fix a remunerative price for the turmeric during the conference,” all India co-ordinator of the council P.K. Deivasigamani told TheHindu.

The volatility in turmeric prices had badly affected the farmers. Prices in the market fell below Rs. 7,500, which was well below the cultivation cost. “A farmer spends more than Rs. 8,500 for producing a quintal of turmeric,” Mr. Deivasigamani pointed out.

Members of the council had also decided to meet the Chief Ministers of seven turmeric growing states, Union Agriculture Minister and the Prime Minister to seek support for the council and provide assistance to carry out their activities. “We would require support in the areas of warehousing, financial credit and others,” Mr. Deivasigamani said.

Similar co-ordination meetings would be held in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra shortly. “The number of farmers in turmeric cultivation is relatively small when compared with most other crops and we will be able to bring them under the council,” he added.