R. Sundaram

Fifty acres purchased

ERODE: The dream for a turmeric market in Erode will soon be a reality. Over 300 commission merchants are involved in turmeric business in Erode - famous for its high turmeric yield. Turmeric is being collected from farmers at auctions at the turmeric merchants' association auction hall, regulated marketing committee yard and two other cooperative sales societies' auction centres.

But, the farmers are unable to concentrate on the auction as they take place at different places. To overcome the disadvantage, the traders and the farmers have identified a site to establish a turmeric market.

Auction yard

Fifty acres have been purchased to set up the market in Semmandampalayam near Nasiyanure here, said senior turmeric commission agent and merchant R.K. Viswanathan.

Mr. Viswanathan told The Hindu that about 20 acres would be allotted to the Regulated Marketing Committee for infrastructure such as turmeric auction yard, farmers' waiting room, bank, toilets and the committee's godown. The committee would also take up road laying works, water supply and street lights, for which the State Government had granted Rs. 11.50 crore. The works would begin in a couple of months, he said.

Workers nearby

The site identified to set up the market was just eight km from Erode. Further, most of the turmeric workers resided in villages such as Nochikattuvalasu, Manickkampalayam and Narayanavalasu - only two or three km from the proposed market.

Turmeric was sent to all other places in the State and Karnataka too. The proposed location would enable easy transport through lorries, as the market was only one-and-a-half-km from the National Highways, Mr. Viswanathan said.

Easing congestion

Once the market was established, about 150 commission merchants would set up shops and godown there, easing traffic congestion in Erode. Steps had been initiated to obtain loans from Union Bank to construct the shops and godowns. Turmeric is mostly used for domestic purposes, and for want of technology, farmers are unable to extract oil, rues Mr. Viswanathan.