The continuous fall in turmeric price has deepened fear among farmers in the district that they may not be able to get a remunerative price for their produce. The price fell below Rs. 8,500 a quintal this week. On Tuesday alone in the Erode market it went down by Rs. 400 to Rs. 500 a quintal. This has triggered a serious concern among the farmers in Erode, which is one of the largest turmeric producing districts in the country.

Over 10,000 hectares of land in Erode had turmeric cultivation after the yellow spice crossed Rs. 16,000 a quintal last year.

The market remained bullish till the end of 2010 and the price started to drop during the first quarter of 2011. The trend continued and it was below Rs. 9,000 a quintal during the first week of May because of the sluggish demand in the domestic and export markets. “The demand for turmeric is yet to improve. But the arrival remains high in most of the markets in the country,” turmeric traders said.

“The arrival is huge as the farmers have doubled the turmeric cultivation area during the last year. In Erode market the arrival hovers around 15,000 bags a day for the past several weeks,” Erode Turmeric Merchants Association president RKV Ravishankar said.

“It seems that we may not be able to get a price more than Rs. 8,000 a quintal,” S. Kandasamy, a turmeric farmer here laments.

Turmeric traders, however, say that the current price is still remunerative to the farmers.

“The profit margin for the turmeric farmers may have come down owing to the downward trend. But Rs. 8,000 and above a quintal is still a good price for the farmers,” Mr. Ravishankar says.

Farmers will be affected only when the price goes below Rs. 8,000. “The current market trend indicates that the price may go below Rs. 8,000. The prices will improve only when the arrival goes down. Since the production has almost doubled in the country, we do not expect the arrival to drop in the immediate future,” many traders say.

  • The price fell below Rs. 8,500 a quintal this week

  • On Tuesday alone in Erode market it went down by Rs. 400 to Rs. 500 a quintal