Farmers in the region are gearing up to seek Government intervention for the turmeric crop.

Farmers here have announced that they would launch an agitation in case the Government fails to intervene and bail out turmeric farmers by the end of this month. President of the Sugarcane Cultivators' Association Kurubur Shanthakumar told The Hindu that the association will spearhead the agitation in view of the escalating crisis and the indifference of the authorities.

“Farmers are reeling due to volatility in the market with prices of turmeric crashing from Rs.17,000 per quintal to Rs.4,000 per quintal. As a result, a majority of the farmers in the region have withheld the produce hoping for a revival in the market price so that they can sell it to recover at least the input cost,” he said. Turmeric is cultivated in most parts of south Karnataka including Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Hunsur, H.D. Kote, Periyapatana, K.R. Nagar, T. Narsipura, Gundlupet, Yellandur and Kollegal.

The area under cultivation is around 50,000 hectares, said Mr. Shanthakumar.

“After sericulture and sugarcane cultivators, it is turmeric farmers in the Mysore-Mandya-Chamarajanagar belt who are now feeling the pinch of market uncertainty,” he said.

He said the cost of production of turmeric was Rs.10, 000 per quintal but the market price had collapsed to Rs. 4,000 per quintal, and hence, the farmers saw no point in selling it at this juncture.

Mr. Shanthakumar said the input cost had skyrocketed due to the escalation of price of fertilizer and pesticides.